Last night I thought I kissed
the loneliness from out your belly button.
I thought I did, but later you sat up,
all bones and restless hands, and told me
there is a knot in your body that I cannot undo.
I never know what to say to these things.
“It’s okay.” “Come back to bed.”
“Please don’t go away again.”
Sometimes you are gone for days at a time
and it is all I can do not to call the police,
file a missing person’s report, even though
you are right there, still sleeping next to me
in bed. But your eyes are like an empty house
in winter: lights left on to scare away intruders.
Except in this case I am the intruder and you
are already locked up so tight that no one
could possibly jimmy their way in.
Last night I thought I gave you a reason
not to be so sad when I held your body like
a high note and we both trembled from the effort.
Some people, though, are sad against all reason,
all sensibility, all love. I know better now.
I know what to say to the things you admit to me
in the dark, all bones and restless hands.
“It’s okay.” “You can stay in bed.”
“Please come back to me again.”
I wish there could be an exit-
interview for the end of a
relationship, where I could
take you to a little room in
the apartment we bought
together on a whim, where I
could ask what it was exactly
that made you fall out of
love with me, where we could
discuss, in detail, the things
we both could have improved
upon. Maybe I would tell you
about the guy who touched
my thigh in a bar once or that
my friends never really liked
you. Maybe you would finally
be able to tell me the truth:
that you’re tired of unclogging
my hair from the shower drain,
that I sing too loudly, that I
don’t cook enough of your
favorite foods. That love, for
you, is just a convenience,
an apartment to share rent
on, a warm bed to come home
to. That it seems to usually end
up as either a falling apart or
a falling together and it’s been
years since you’ve needed
MRI scan of a human subject from the cranium to the feet.
Loving someone doesn’t always mean
being happy, and if I were able to
I’d take back all of the drunk text messages
I had ever sent to you. Because that was when
I was at my most vulnerable, and that
was when you told me that you had enough,
and that you wanted time apart.
But instead of just seeing your side
I told you that your insides were
as rotten as the apple cores that remain
in the garbage can in the corner
of my room, and for some reason,
even if the smell is hardly bearable,
I still cannot find the energy within myself
to empty out the trash. I guess that
you and the junk in my room
have something in common;
even if it’s time to give it up,
I cannot seem to part
with something so useless.