You don’t hold me tight so I know you want to go.
You already let go of alcohol, caffeine, Dexter after the tumor.
My mother told me, after my father died, she would never love another man.
When she loved another man, she refused to let him die beside her.
Now he leaves her rain-soaked voicemails from Italy.
She drives to Cleveland, Kentucky, Ann Arbor, to avoid the thought of him.
Lost loves are remnants of embers but that’s it.
When I was with Amy, she drank coffee and I did not.
The mornings, now, I caffeinate myself a buzzing lantern.
Who sleeps that well anymore?
Sara tells me one of her exes nightly swallowed eight Benadryls to sleep.
Pink pills stack inside us in our battles against sleeping alone.
I have a soft blue blanket and a queen-sized bed.
When a day leaves don’t ask me to differentiate between darkness and dream.
(originally published in I-70 Review, Fall 2019)