Crawl in with me. Here. I’m lifting the covers.
When you visit I
feel as if I am always waking
always seeing my lip prints in the pillow
always caught in the touchless median
between the soft metals of sleep and the sudden stretch of the risen.
When you visit I am without roots
but am too heavy to float.
I will try harder to know you. Let me try.
I could braid your hair, stroke the skin between your brows,
I could ease my body into your absence
like a warm bath,
come morning I would know you like a middle name.
I could make you tea.
The kettle is still on and every cupboard
smells of Earl Grey. It is the only thing that stays down, and
it perfumes the lungs like you, a pinch of thought and you
are everywhere. I trace Bergamot rings across the counters
and feel you well up from my fingers. I only whisper, now.
Come sit down. I’m cross-legged in my wool socks.
I will dim the kitchen light. I will listen.
Sadness, I am so sorry
for leaving. For calling you
by another name. For never holding the door.
For swooning to the shape of you in music,
but never inviting you in.
I see now. All you do is walk. Your knees are locking.
Last night I woke to the sound of you tapping
on the neighbours’
window, on the trunk of passing cars,
your palms black from the street coins.
I have fed you so that I would not have to face you.
I do not know how to stand
when you enter a room
sometimes you are the spill of sugar
on the table, sometimes I can fit you
on my ring finger
sometimes you are the red swarm
beneath my tongue
sometimes, this time,
you are all my failures
raising their hands at once.