Was it Always Like This?

By cora àllune

March 15, 2021

Was it always like this?

Worrying about the password on my phone, if it’s long enough.

Checking the levels of the liquor in the freezer, looking for evidence of secret sips when I’m in the other room. Listening for the stick of the refrigerator seal. We never did get that fixed.

Because I remember other things, too. Our hands in the dirt, coaxing beautiful flowers and vegetables from the earth. Burning Kentucky summers and driving to the reservoir with the windows down. Vibrant greens in the treetops and sweet love making between mauve silk sheets. Lovely words written in blue ink, woven into heartfelt letters waiting for me on the bedside table. Your breath on my neck as the sun tosses, wakes, and spills onto our street.

But then, the rest comes flooding back.

Me, doubled over at the kitchen sink in grief, sinking to my knees with a sadness too great for my body. Gasping for air that was never coming. Hoping for sobriety that didn’t come soon enough.

You scream at me, and my vision blurs as a glass whizzes past my face– narrowly missing me and crashing to the floor. My focus leaves you and your sound, and instead I feel my feet planted in the home we built together.

The walls we painted.
The colors we picked.
The books we stacked.

And I wonder, was it always like this?

December 6, 2022

Over a year later, I’m sitting in a different home.
The washer hums and my kitchen fills with the smell of lavender
Everything is quiet and gentle.
Here, voices are never raised and love is exchanged with intention
Nonviolent communication is a given.

I watched the full moon rise tonight.
They say it’s in Gemini,
Representing a duality of everything we have, and everything we’ve lost

A moonbow cracked the sky open like a kaleidoscope
And I realized how long I’ve been homesick for the life I wasn’t living.

It was always like that.

The way we love is now, is the most liberating, just thing I have ever known.
& the way I am now is the way I remember. The way I was before you.


cora àllune is a graduate from Berea College in Berea, KY where she studied peace & social justice as well as women & gender studies. As a freelance writer, her publications are of both creative and informative nature with special focuses on sustainability, activism, LGBTQIA+ rights, and BIPOC in Appalachia. Her intention is to wield vibrant, artful arrangements of words for the purposes of education, pleasure and representation. Cora will earn her doctorate on implementations of restorative justice in criminal and educational institutions and hopes to conduct research regarding the lexicon of restorative justice theories and practices.