"The past isn't dead. It isn't even in the past." -- William Faulkner The past should go away, but it doesn't. Even if you try to throw it out with all my perfect cursive notes and the white IKEA furniture. There is still the insomnia and a few mottled bruises on the inside of your sternum. You once told me there was no such thing as a heartache, so now I feel no obligation to resolve anything. The past should go away, but how can it? Once I went hunting for your loneliness, and I found it, my round breath sewing loops right through you. Everything that happened is still happening and happening. The past should go away, but instead it waits for you, motionless, like a flood at the bottom of your basement steps. You. You breathed out like a map. You said worship; you meant it. The past is merciless, fills every recess of a heart; fills all the holes in the sky where there should be stars. The past should go away, but it follows you home like a starving junkyard dog with something dead in its mouth. Haunts you. Looks like you: covered in filth and eating from the garbage. You've always been a sad stray, desperate for affection or a warm bed to sleep in. In that case, the past is a chain for you, dear. You wear it snug around your throat, dear. See how it covers you like daybreak. The past should go away, but it keeps unfolding slowly like a dense fog falling off the stage. Or breaks open like a swarm of locusts. I once let you in. Yes. To my garden of drowning violas. Led you, lured you. Halfway. Left you there alone. Then just when you began to see a crack of light, I stepped in your path, closed my eyes, and swung the blunt object. Your head aching like a broken heart. The past should go away, but it won't stop breathing. A black assault of wheezes. The past looks right at you with its eyeless face, as it drags itself across your filthy floor. Laughs darkly. Rotting wood where there should be teeth. You asked why I was crying, and I said it was because I was so happy with such earnestness that even I believed it. The past keeps spinning on its demon carousel. You feel guilty because you are guilty. The past should go just away, but it hangs from the beams and sleeps upside-down inside of you. Wakes up and immediately starts beating all its wings. Scrapes against the rust on your heart, and makes a bony sound. The past should go away, but it never does. It isn't over yet. It's barely even started, dear.