and then
one night
we ran
so fast
i felt the wind
beating me
cool
and full
of mist
so wet
i was certain
it was washing
me
clean

“look up!”
he shouted
beckoning at me
“the moon is falling”

and I couldn’t help
but stare
freezing
as the light
cast silver
over
everything

“we’re living the dream”
he said
scooping
what looked like
stardust
from the
meadow floor
launching it into the air
such that it fell
about me

his joy
hurled at me
his teeth
so white
and glistening
as he beamed at me
i thought i might
burst
i was filled
with such glee

oh how i love you
I thought
as he turned
to keep running

“i am staying here”
i heard myself say
from somewhere
far away

he paused
and turned
standing on his toes
for prompt pivoting

“what?!”
he laughed
assuming playfulness
clearly incredulous
“you’re not coming?!”

“no”
i said
“i’m sorry”
surprised
at my own certainty
the thickness of my tone
the extent of my conviction
the depth of my knowing

and he (and i) got
i wasn’t joking
not this time
i wasn’t testing him
i wasn’t playing

“i need to go
the rest alone”
i said
trembling now
conscious i was choosing
what was right
even though it seemed
least easy
even though it seemed
most frightening

even though
i could see myself
following him forever

yes, even though…
i need to go
i need to go the rest alone

yes because
who i become
is more important
to me
than how
far
or fast
we can run
how accomplished
we become

“okay, i’ll miss you”
he said
the most gently
i’d ever heard him
speak

touched
it took me
a while to find
my voice
and by then
he was back
to running
away
from me
again

“me too…”
i shouted into the dark

me too…

and i watched
the silhouette
of the man
i had once loved
more than anything
become one
with the horizon
disappearing
into a memory
i’ll endlessly have
with me

a memory
of how
this
one time
i chose
me
and what
is most
deeply
important to me
over
a love
sweet
that wasn’t
right
for who
i want
to
be

❤️ emily joy rosen

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