nine nights scrunched up on sofas, late nights & late mornings,
or sometimes early afternoons: i hid from so much daylight.
i pretended it was earned, that at nighttime i was living, but it was just moving,
and talking and laughing longer than all the jokes required, and drinking.
you rushed into my head midway & wouldn’t leave,
i saw the back of little ghostly yous in the bottom of every tumbler,
a white blur fading into crowds. somewhere the anger had subsided
and i couldn’t get the warmth of your hands out of my head.
near the end of us, you would barely let me hold them & one night,
while watching films, we sat so close & it felt so normal for a change,
& i reached for your hand and you gripped mine tight in reply.
it seemed so novel, i took a picture. i think i knew then, i’m pretty sure i knew for a long time,
that you were just too scared to leave, too anxious of the unknown without me.
even though it was you that didn’t want me, you waited until i was so unbearably miserable,
that i had to be brave & put the words in your mouth.
the next morning, you had the audacity to say,
“isn’t there a part of you that feels relief today too?”
and i said no.