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"everything i wanted" • Billie Eilish (by Sunshine Meyers)

I waited three years for my friend’s apology, but tonight I finally stopped. Because, as our mutual friends filled the bar with their laughter and side-conversations, in the orange light, I glimpsed the apple of her cheek, and she twitched her nose while she listened, as she does, and she leaned to hear someone’s amusing story, and her mouth was already open, because she knew she was going to laugh. I stirred my ice and saw my misplaced daydreams belonged to the person I was, not the person I’m becoming. No take-backsies, I thought, as I realized something new about the way I love. Imagine if she groveled, if she listed every misstep, like a new plop of dirt from a shovel, like a woman digging a hole, one penance at a time, while I lorded over it. Imagine if she did that, and then I said, I waited three years for this, as if I needed that dirt to live, as if I could use it to build anything for myself, as if her sweat was something I could drink, and then be nourished. No, I’d definitely kick the shovel. I’d interrupt. Her depravity can be offered at someone else’s altar. Mine will be covered in apples, apples from her cheeks, or nothing at all, I only want her to be happy. In fact, I’m sorry, for putting too many eggs in her basket, for not factoring her own humanity when I tallied my expectations, for having any expectations at all, oh the pressure she must have felt, the fatal prognosis, of codependency toward any bond. No take-backsies. The love I give never needs to return. Just like the ease of 2019, and how it’s never coming back, neither is she. And that’s okay. I’m okay, without anyone’s dirt at my feet, but definitely, and maybe even especially, hers.

Sunshine (she/they) is a queer Louisville-area poet who enjoyed a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist before pursuing poetry. Whether as a clinician or poet, Sunshine believes in the restorative and contagious powers of self-expression. They are dedicated to sharing that power with others through their writing and monthly writing workshop– Golden Hours. Sunshine’s first published work is found in the Louisville poets anthology,Once a City Said, by Sarabande Books and edited by Joy Priest. You can find Sunshine on Instagram @sunshine.lately, as well as their monthly workshop, @goldenhoursworkshop.


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