maybe I’m not quite ready to hear again the songs I listened to in college, the ones I played on repeat late at night as I sat in the glow of white Christmas lights and electric candles, huddled over a laptop screen or old notebooks full of teenage wishes, wondering if you were even possible, if I was a singularity in this universe, if I had placed my love in untrustworthy vessels and would be broken, broken, broken by the years, maybe I’m not ready to remember how I paced my dorm room, restless with others’ longings twisting in my chest, or how I walked endless circles around campus in the dark, trying to outrun my own longing so I could collapse into bed exhausted and cease wondering and fearing for a few hours, at least, maybe I’m not ready for the songs that remind me of the confusion and heartache and terror I faced alone for years because I could not fathom how anyone would ever understand and was afraid, more than anything, of hope, that cruel flicker which drove me to return to the same circles and what-ifs even when I sought to bury all feeling, will I ever be ready to remember those years without flinching, will these songs ever not hurt?

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