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'How Do You Eat An Elephant?'

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

december 12th 2017, 1:40 P.M.

when i think of you, i don’t understand how it is fondly. the way you tore me asunder. the feeling of your hands on my skin was suddenly less sweet and more scalding the moment you told me—

“i like her better.”

maybe you liked the way you didn’t have to think to make her smile. maybe you liked the way she gave you what you wanted. maybe you liked the way she was simple-minded.

maybe you liked her better because she was not a conquest, but a victory.

i think i know how i remember you now. i remember you as the soldier that abandoned his troop before battle. the hiker who abandoned his trail. the plane that grounded in the midst of a storm.

you didn’t want an adventure. you wanted a destination.

and i am every pit stop, flat tire and gas leak.

every sleepless night and white knuckle grasping the steering wheel.

and maybe one day you’ll endure me.

until then, i remain every thrill that i am.

december 13th, 2017, 5:03 P.M.

i don’t regret being with the people i’ve been with this past year.

i regret not still feeling the way they made me feel even after they were gone.

december 15th, 2017, 12:32 P.M.

i can’t be let down again. i won’t get my hopes up again. i won’t imagine us together, excited because i found you.

i won’t think about the future we may have together. i won’t sit and swoon about everything you say to me, i won’t dissect your words and try to understand some hidden meaning.

i won’t even think.

i can’t get my hopes up this time. i won’t be let down again.

december 16th, 2017, 8:11 P.M.

thank you for making me feel loved again.

december 17th, 2017, 9:07 A.M.

you told me you would show me what it feels like.

and i can’t wait.

december 18th, 2017, 7:27 P.M.

i have a bad feeling. the feeling is usually right.

december 19th, 2017, 5:35 A.M.

there must be something about me that scares away the best of them.

maybe i am not the adventure after all.

maybe i am just a dead end.

i told myself i wouldn’t get my hopes up, so this feeling is not on you .but why do i feel so unwanted? that feeling takes two.

december 19th, 2017, 2:00 P.M.

“i need time to think. idk what i want rn.”

—12:17 P.M.

i want to be your yes. your always.

i want to be a choice, not an option.

i won’t wait for you to make up your mind about me.

if you have to think, i don’t want you.

6:44 P.M.

you turned me cold and untrusting.

i used to accept you openly. but you were a wolf in sheep's clothing.

i see everyone as a predator now. you told me: “you’re worth it honey.”

was i worth it enough to lie?

december 20th, 2017, 9:22 A.M.

i resent you for allowing me to be caught in the crossfire of this battle with yourself.

december 22nd, 2017, 5:52 P.M.

an arms length—

i’ll keep you there.

and even if you go,

my arms will not fall away.

i will stand with or without you.

december 25th, 2017, 4:40 A.M.

remember me my love,

so wherever you end up going you can find your way back to me.

and i pray this will not end in heartbreak,

or in a lost soul.

—33°18’N 111°50’W

december 27th, 2017, 9:00 P.M.

how far you’ve drifted, my love.

“i’m sorry i let you down.”

no. i’m sorry i wasn’t enough to make you stay.

december 30th, 2017, 3:15 P.M.

oh of course in the end,

it will always be you.

january 1st, 2018, 9:11 P.M.


here’s to me. to who i will become. to who i will meet and love.

i am ready for you.

january 7th, 2018, 8:52 A.M.

yesterday you asked me to be yours.

but i think that i was yours long before you found me.

january 9th, 2018, 11:29 P.M.

tonight should prove, i will fight for us.

when you are tired

your body is aching

when you cannot see an end

i’ll be at the finish my love,

and i won’t give up on you

january 13th, 2018, 4:58 P.M.—definition of insanity

—but you gave up on me.

why do i keep doing this to myself when i know the outcome?

january 14th 2018, 7:56 A.M.

this is the aftermath of who we were.

and it’s messy and unclean

and i wish you hadn’t tried to solve my equation

when you hadn’t finished solving your own

now i can’t erase.

this unknown variable

this ‘x’

i knew you weren’t the solution

but i stayed because for a second because

you made me feel completed.

but i couldn’t expect you to be my answer.

i’m my answer.

i am my solution.

i am inherently incomplete.

and that's okay.

january 23rd, 2018, 7:14 P.M.

here we go again.

january 27th 2018

we collided—

and you captured the essence of me.

i never felt so free until i met you.

february 3rd, 2018

i don’t know if it will last

but i feel hopeful.

february 12th, 2018, 5:54 A.M.

something feels off. displaced.

i don’t know what's wrong with me.

i feel detached from my own body.

who am i?

i have defied the rules set for myself in the name of some—

crude freedom.

i regret it all. i wish i had never changed.

because i don’t know who i am anymore.

february 15th, 2018, 6:12 A.M.


i wish the good could outweigh the bad,

i wish we could focus on sunsets in the corners of the world,

waterfalls and exotic flowers.

i pray we could be overwhelmed with the kindness of others

and the love between old couples

that have been together for longer than i have lived

but it cannot change that hate spawns from hate

and pain hurts others

and the hearts of some people are destined to be wicked

it makes me sick.

march 10th, 2018, 6:30 P.M.

“3, 2, 2018”

i know why i’ve felt wrong


because the only home i was ever meant to know

was the warmth when you hold me, and the

symphonies i feel when you kiss me,

and the undeniable love i feel knowing you are mine.

april 2nd, 2018, 8:58 P.M.

oh, it is breathtaking

soul crushing

heart shattering

how much i have grown to love and worry for you

the thought of you

the thought of my life without you

is unfathomable


it brings me to my knees.

it is dangerous, lethal, how far you’ve let me fall for you







9:03 P.M.

why do i feel so whole yet so broken?

april 18th, 2018, 6:33 A.M.

i have loved you and learned you

your quirks and insecurities and absolutely lovely chaoses

and i have fallen harder than before with this soulless man

who knows my heart better than i do

and i have fallen in love with all his

dirty little secrets

may 29th 2018, 10:21 A.M.

you said maybe


you could love me back

but that relationships are more than just

like and love

they are time and circumstance and inevitable distance

you are willing to sacrifice ours over a temporary abundance of those

but i’ll do anything to keep us whole

even if i’ll never compare to them

even if we aren’t serious

even if to you, i am not worth the effort.

10:22 A.M.

how beautifully hopeless it is to put your heart into something—

that is destined to die.

i love you, please don’t go.

june 19th, 2018, 3:50 P.M.

i keep our photos and videos

like little shards of glass

to prick me every time

i step too far towards the past

july 24th, 2018, 6:45 A.M.

i don’t have to beg for affection anymore

i don’t have to stretch and strive and compensate for gaps you left between us

his words and his ways beyond compare to the simple way you handled me

he bridges the canyons you left gouged in me

and yes, it may have taken days of suffering and nights of dreaming for the worst to get here

but i am here.

and contrary to any belief you drilled in my head with your insolence

i have loved again.

september 10th 2018, 11:23 A.M.

21 days

without your wit

your smile

your voice

your presence

things in my head, memories all unravelled by words unsaid

i long for you. i long for answers. was i ever really enough? the one that took my love and gave it back to me.

i miss my memory of you.

in your absence, something else has taken your place

a fear. a longing. a wish for you to come home.

november 22nd, 2018, 8:24 P.M.

i wish i could breath without the weight of your words

snatching me by my breath and pulling me back under these restless waves of

gripping doubt,

i wish i could forget about the sleepless nights you prescribed me with your silence.

december 7th 2018, 9:33 P.M.

i wish i could stop forgiving you over and over for this torment

i have loved you and your smile

and learned to love the suffering that is inevitable to come beside it

i have learned to love the breathlessness,

the sound of the stars scraping against the sky at 2am

i have learned that i deserved better than the careless way you handled me.

i am not fragile

after all this time

yet i will still break when you step all over me

i am not weak

but i am not strong enough to carry the weight of your insecurities.

not yours and mine,

i am not something you fuck and throw away when you get bored!

i am so much more than the times you chewed me up and spit me out like garbage.

going from professing your love and dreaming of our future

to days later ignoring my pleas for you to come home

i deserved more than what you gave me.

i am more than how you treated me.

the thing is, i can say that, but i’ll never know exactly what i mean.

alone, they tell me. i need to be alone. how can i be? this tattered heart yearns to be held again even if those fleeting hands may drop it a few times

this heart that feels everything so deeply the ocean may be shallow

how can i spend time with these memories of the people who have loved and left me

despite all their promises?

i have to smother them.

i have to bandage them up and heal them with a new love.

that love needs to be mine.

it is so much easier, to write these words than to bring them to existence.

how can i love this person? this person i’ve become? this person who throws her chastity to the wind in an attempt to forget for just a second

this person who defies her own self worth again and again to occupy time

she can’t stand to spend alone.

who was so incomplete she was almost crushed by the weight of her own life?

how could i love this person? she was never worthy enough for anyone else to love.

it seems like such a daunting task.

my father once asked me, as i was agitated and sobbing, fearful for the years to come:

“have you ever heard the expression, ‘how do you eat an elephant’?”

i was baffled. he told me, “one bite at a time.”

one step at a time.

one breath at a time.

one day at a time,

that is how i will love her. and when i do, i will learn to love the sweet oxygen in my lungs.

the nights of dreaming with ease.

the days i remember you as just a moment,

just a lesson.

not this consuming thought to write poetry about.

and god, i can’t wait.

december 13th, 2018, 3:26 P.M.

i hope you feel the weight of what you did to me.

and i hope it crushes you.

4:18 P.M. —but, my memories of you are still beautifully fleeting.

january 13th, 2020, 2:21 P.M.

she is sat at a table

her posture slightly faulted

from hours upon days upon years of

hunching over


over books

from the way she curls in on herself when she’s tired

her hair is short and dark and blunt cut

curled ever so slightly

frizzy and coarse from her african roots

her skin is a molten caramel color

washed out by the snow in the mountains

but thriving in the sun of her home

her lips are pouty and pink

small and reserved

sort of like she is

but when she smiles it speaks volumes and tells stories she could not say

with her lips alone

she is small

but not quite small enough

her curves roll like hills and look foreign on her body

but nevertheless

they look like they’ve made a home there

her eyes glance towards the window

the light catches them

and they are not just brown in this light

they are the combination of every color under the sun

she is me

and i think i like her.


Micaela Merryman is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sonder Magazine. You can find her on Instagram @micaelamerryman .

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