Feelings are neither created or destroyed by Cynthia J. Zapata

I order a bowl of fries during happy hour and the pretty waitress and I make a joke about being gay and I wonder if this will be the first time I won’t try to marry someone cause we had one thing in common

I wander downtown and look up only to see the distant glimmer of stars either dead or so big they are able to peek through these city lights 

I call you, knowing your band is playing a few streets away. The space between each ring is enough to wish for you to pick up. Maybe you’ll join me here and maybe we’ll find one more thing in common and I’ll take the ring then and I won’t have to keep squinting for stars but like I expected I hear her tell me you’re unavailable and I think of how your voicemail greeting and I have talked to one another more times than you and I did and I guess if I asked, maybe she’d marry me

And what I feel becomes a flame burning outward to the ends of my paper heart and now there is only a pile of ash, and bones that couldn’t burn, but for once it is only me

I keep my eyes fixed on a few big stars and wonder when I’ll be called up there. Sifting in the ashes, I know in the same way ice will melt to water and then become gas, that it is impossible for me to be gone 

I thought love was gone the night we both cried until four in the morning in separate beds, but love is never gone, it returns,  it changes color, taste, and smell, but it is still love in some way or shape or form, in some way or shape or form, in some way or shape or form and I trust this is the only way or shape or form we’ll have between us for now and no one can correct use for calling it, love

But ashes are not enough for forever, and maybe it’s smart that you never gave me the ring, and maybe it was good when we held hands as I told you I was leaving for no one else but me, and this love had to transform between us, and we should trust there will always be love between us but maybe it makes us breathe differently 


Cynthia J. Zapata writes for fun, for grad school, but mostly for herself. You can follow them on Instragram at @cynthiajzapata

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.