*Note: This poem has been published with the New York Public Library Zine 2017 ©
It begins as a creeping thought. Like an itch.
Easy to ignore, difficult to locate.
It graduates into an illness, and soon your mind is stuck on replay.
Like a swarm of butterflies with needles in their mouths.
You tell yourself that you can do without her, that you are a strong man.
You recount the many battles you have won in times past,
And the many wars you have fought against your flesh.
You tell yourself that the flash of her smile in your mind means nothing.
That her beautiful eyes are not a recurring statement in your heart.
You lay in bed with your eyes closed. Rejecting those lips that refuse to cease.
Your hands itch to hold onto something. Something else.
Your nose bleeds from the force of your own denial,
And soon your hands are shaking, and your teeth clattering from this winter of your creation.
Oh brave one, just indulge this one time.
Take that bold step you have taken a thousand times already.
Grab onto that hand you always wish to hold.
Kiss that face you yearn to always see.
Breathe in that scent you hope will never end.
Gain back your life you thought was nearly over.
For you may have been dying from a terrible disease known as missing another human.
~ By Sandra Chukwudumebi Obiora