After you left,
I stopped watering the flowers
on my front lawn, and as I watched
each one fold into itself
I started wondering if I was doing the same.
Because if you aren’t living,
then you have to be dying instead,
or at least that’s what my mother screamed
when she told me stop listening to sad music
and reading books that clawed
away at my insides.
When things started getting really bad
with the first boy I ever pretended
he started saying things like,
‘You don’t smell as good as she did’
and 'I only kissed you so you could finally
stop talking about poetry and what the
New York City rain tastes like.’
I realized I didn’t really love him
when he told me to leave,
and I did.
The first time I told you I
was falling in love with your hands
and the way they knew how to hold me,
you whispered to me about the last
girl that lived in your bed,
and how her mother still calls
you sometimes and invites
you over for dinner.
There were nights when
you didn’t come home until three in the morning,
and I wondered if
you were busy eating from plates
that weren’t mine
and touching skin that didn’t belong
to my bones.
I almost asked,
but the way you looked through me
in the mornings told me
that I didn’t want the answer.
Months after that,
she left a voicemail
telling you how much she
loved the necklace you bought her
and how she liked the way
you looked in the soft glow of dawn.
I almost broke the house in half
with the thunder in my sobs.
You came home to find me
in the corner of the bedroom
scratching at the walls
and howling to a moon that didn’t
bother showing up.
I don’t remember leaving,
I just know one day I woke up
and nobody was there to ignore me anymore.
I’m still trying to decide if that was
worse than being ignored in the first place.
And I’d send this to you,
but you probably wouldn’t see it sitting
on your doorstep.
You’d probably step right over it,
and then wonder why you haven’t heard