i spend time with my family,
you don’t text me.
i pretend I’m not checking my phone for your name.
i swallow back the tears
pretend I don’t mind that there’s no trace of you
trying to contact me.
i go for a drive,
and pretend i don’t know how to get to your house from any part of this damn city;
sunbleached asphalt paves the road to you.
i keep my eyes on the road and try to find ways to make things look like what they are,
rather than looking like you;
the city spot up the street from my best friends house
tastes like your skin and smells like your conditioner.
i drive home from work,
and pretend it doesn’t hurt
when you aren’t there waiting for me;
i avoid calling it home,
because you always told me
i was your home,
and without you,
my chest is an abandoned living room,
couches covered in white sheets,
layered with dust;
i lie alone in bed,
and pretend I’m not wishing for your warmth.
i still sleep wrapped in the blanket you gave me.
i don’t try to pretend
that there is even a single version of my future
i pretend that the tears I shed are raindrops;
if that’s so, every night is a rainstorm.
— how do you say “I love you, I miss you, come home” without sounding pathetic?