looking at you feels like pulling apart the blinds in a room that no one has entered in years. a room forgotten in the back of the house, stacked with all the pieces of me that I couldn’t throw out but suddenly have no space for any more. the worn-out, crinkled cardboard boxes of my recklessness and musty-smelling sacks of the girl who would roam the streets of Rome at 5 a.m. with a bottle in her hand and a friend linked in her arms before it was replaced with his name inked there instead. the layers of a desire to be seen and the iron-rimmed antique chests as old and warm as her glass of whiskey. suitcases full of lipsticks redder and bloodier than her wounds, scratched-up leathery albums full of unrecognizable smiles and friends, and a record player that screeches in pain every time she plays her laughter out loud. a room smothered in the dust of his loss, covered in the filth of my guilt, accompanied by the stuffy, lingering smell of suffocation as all these different parts of me took their last breaths with him before I pushed them to the back of the house and swallowed the key, sure that my life no longer had room for the cartons full of nights spent dancing and the crates full of naivety and a reason to believe. but running into you feels like jiggling that locked door once more, only to pick up a small pebble and smashing it through the window, because nothing is lost forever but just buried underneath months of grime and guilt. looking at you look at me despite all my missing pieces feels like for the first time, some light has entered the room once more, some life has been breathed back into me.