Eleven Steps on How Not to Need Somebody


I wish I were the kind of person that people would remember after meeting for the

first time. But no, I am often easily dismissed. If people were places I am a

sidewalk you’ll never pass by; the alleys are too dark and the steps are too narrow

and it is not worth your time.


Some people write songs for moments like this. I write endless prose. In my

head, there were a million things left unsaid and I wanted to break free of them,

but I was a dark alley and you were those colored lights, and I hold too many

secrets to spill them all to you after a handful of conversations.


Lately, I’ve been trying to find the right words to string together and form a

harmony that could be meaningful, but I have yet to find the notes that would

describe this chaos perfectly.


I don’t want to let you get to me in all these hidden spaces I didn’t even know

existed, only for you to become a poem that I can never write. The more you try to

get to me the more I’ll stay further away until someday I’ll be Alaska, and the miles

between us will be more than from here to Russia.


I know that I could love you in ways no one has ever had, but at the same time I

don’t want to give you parts of myself just to make you whole.


I think the more I try to stop the more I am dooming myself to feel. My days seem

incomplete without your words to soothe me and assure me of things I don’t even

know about myself. I’ve been lonely for too long.



Every time you get to me I can feel myself crack open and tip my hourglass over

the cliff. But I can’t be like this and it frightens me.


I am terrified I would end up needing you, and I’ve always clung onto a lot of



If this is different, I can only hope you’ll prove me wrong.

(And I really hope you’ll prove me wrong, as I have been lonely for too long).


If I could give you a twisted sunset I would, just so when you look at shades of

orange and blue, you’d be reminded of me. I’m going to push you further away

now, and you can come to me when you’re ready.


I don’t know how to end this.

by Cariza Opana // Artwork by Alicia Krawchuk

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