Darkened silhouette image of woman sitting naked in the dark

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “Z” – Zenith

The following is the final segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
Jade A. Waters

Zenith, their zenith
Is over and done.
Time has passed and healed her, somewhat
Though the hollow of her belly still
Fights, protests
Wanting their glory restored.
The truth is that theirs was the most beautiful love,
A precious, wonderful thing
That painted her existence in vibrant ways
She’d never imagined before.
Their love filled her soul with joy,
Just as it touched his face with the smiles and laughs he’d lost—
But this vision, their future
Is gone, its tragic ending something they have yet to fully comprehend;
It’s the story they both played into,
Loving as richly and fully as they could.
For now, they will need to find other means,
Some solace in the wreckage they’ve left behind.
And so she stares quietly over their desolate landscape,
Hearing echoes of a melody that once blared throughout a blooming world
As she clutches the tiniest morsel of hope
In her hand. For what, she isn’t sure yet,
But she knows he is out there, their love lingering forever in her heavy heart,
A crystalline memory she will hold
As long as she can.
She takes a breath, lifts her head
And, keeping her fingers wrapped tight around hope,
She sets out across this dusty expanse,
One foot, then the other
Once more.

Couple clutching each other, woman looking uncertain

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “Y” – You Are

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
Jade A. Waters

You are the love of my life,” she says.
She is crying to him, reasoning,
Trying to feel her way around this heartache
That even he isn’t ready—or willing—to face.
They are broken, this pair,
The perfect love shattered
By a stupid, stupid move,
A sharp stab out of nowhere
That’s desecrated the vision they both had
Of what this could be.
When he tells her again he loves her,
That he is always there, ready to catch her
Just like before, as if nothing has changed,
She is struggling to understand
How he never got it.
How he, the lover, the man of promises
The one who knew her better than anyone else
Or so he thought,
He who saw everything that no one else could
Or so he claimed,
Is standing there insisting everything is going to be all right
If she lets it.
They are desperate words, she knows,
Him hoping the bitter end isn’t right there in front of them,
That they can grasp something, anything
A remnant of what they shared
As if their love was just a momentary, tangential vacation
In the once beautiful story of her and him,
And this reality crushes the blistering ache of her
Already bleeding heart.

To read "Z" — Zenith, click here.
Low Light photo of woman lying naked on side

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “W” – When He Calls

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
Jade A. Waters

When he calls her to tell her,
She thinks it’s a mistake,
That surely, after all they’ve been through
All he’s said, this can’t truly be.
She’d built armor around her heart for a lifetime,
But for him, she stripped it away,
For him, with his generous love
His perfect kiss
His repeated promise that she could let go
She did,
And now she is drowning,
Slipping deeper into an ocean
Of murky waters
Flowing too fast into her windpipe,
Choking her as he cries and explains himself,
As he insists he loves her, but
He doesn't know what to do.
She is sinking,
Her heart frozen in time
A statue in the middle of a gloomy and cold winter landscape
That’s been sneaking in around them
So slowly, they didn’t notice
The frost dampening the air
For a long time now.
She thinks this as she hits the bottom,
Their love the burden carrying her
Down, down, down,
A body shifting with the current
Among silent tufts of algae
As the world at the surface of this ocean goes on
Without her.

To read "X" — X's Mean Everything, click here.
Overexposed image of butterfly on a branch in a field of grass


Jade A. Waters

Just because I smile
Doesn’t mean I’m not broken
Doesn’t mean
I’m not soft on the inside
Not a butterfly in a vicious wind
Fluttering, struggling, but keeping afloat,
Flashing my colors
Setting my course
Not a victim in this crime.

But all the same—
Just because I am a victim
Doesn’t mean I am weak
Doesn’t mean I’m not a voice
Doesn’t mean that I will cave,
That I will be silenced
Or stand here
In this tornado
As a soft, malleable thing
Shaken by your wind.

I will fight

I have fought

I am the voiceless
And the vocal one
The lost, and
The found
I have felt pain
I have felt hurt
I’ve been broken into pieces
So tiny
I didn’t even realize I was me,
And I will not stand for it
Ever again.
I will be your butterfly—
My wings swaying in this torrid wind,
But I will not be deterred
I will not be caught
I will not fold

I am free.