Library of Him 

His eyes are made up

of all the shattered pieces

from every person

he has ever loved.

Like a million sharp edges of broken

stained glass windows,

he could tell you the name of each one

just by looking at the color.

He could sit for hours

and tell you the story

behind each piece and why

he once loved them,

and how deep

each piece still cuts him.

There are so many stories

living in his eyes,

he could be a library

of secrets untold

and love not always returned.  

His soul runs deep,

but his heart…

that’s a different library altogether.  

It’s heavy.  

A heart that holds a bookmark

sealing every crack,

holding a place for the one

day he can’t let go of,

and the what ifs notated

like a promise to be better

next time.

The sadness in his eyes says

there won’t be a next time,

but the time will come,

and he will reach for it.

Even if it’s bursting

in flames,

he will grab it, and love it hard

the way he does.

It’s the only way he knows.

He loves with both feet in

or not at all.

There’s no in between.

His hands are black

from all the seeds he plants,

forcing a bloom

whether it’s ready or not,

and it never is.

He waters it like wishful thinking,

as reliable as a pinky promise.

He waters it on his knees

like a prayer that gets answered

every single time

as long as he doesn’t stop.

And he never stops…

even when it withers

away from being loved too much.

He kills it while loving it,

and mourns it with blame

instead of flowers.

He holds funerals at libraries

and bookmarks each

one with part of his heart

because maybe one day,

someone will check out

the book that holds his story

and find their own

missing pieces.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry (For Jason) 💙

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