The Phrase

The Phrase
By Evan Ramos

There’s security in the phrase. Its repetition symbolizes constancy. One that does not crumble with the passing of time, a cliff that denies the waves erosion. This phrase is feared at first. Its utterance a risk to both who hear and speak. They say that every decision is a catalyst that formulates different universes. Hopefully, one is forged that you’d want to exist in.

In my case, it did.

The power of the phrase is never automatic, it takes time to set in the mind, much longer in the heart. This phrase leads us sweetly into the serenity of darkness, to a place where reality shifts with thoughts. And in the times I dream of you, those moments never compare to feeling your body next to mine, your breath against my skin, and your true voice in my ear.

And yet you are not mine nor I was ever yours. I’ve been phasing through dimensions towards billions of outcomes, only one leading away, the one I chose. And now the thought of you feels like a different place, a planet with a periodic table unlike our own, elements nuclear to the memory of you. The degrade will last millions of years, but the possibility of mutation is none. Because here, the phrase has no length, width, or depth. It is an element of earth in a universe without it. A universe without you or I or anything between us.

And though I know I shouldn’t, I stare up into the sun and see the potential of supernova, new life, or a void eternal. Void of you. Void of the phrase. And suddenly, trillions of outcomes sift through my synapses, calculated by electrical impulse. Every possibility plausible, every one without you. And in the loneliness of this cataclysmic decision, the universe is serene.

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