He fell down the stairs in my apartment tonight,
because the lights were off and all he could see
was his own reflection in the mirror across
from the stairs. I thought it was the way to the
bathroom, he says, hopping his way
back into my room.
You would know where the bathroom is.
You would have things in my bathroom.
A toothbrush, the pages of my magazines
folded where you think the girls are hot.
A special mirror to see things closely with.
You would have your own shelf filled with
the floss you forget to use.
His pain is not turning me on. His pain makes it difficult to enjoy
any of this. And now he’s next to me in this bed
where you used to sleep, where you used to put your
hand on my belly and tell me you wanted to plant things in there.
He’s naked under my covers with
an aching knee. Painful, I’m sure, but he just won’t shut up
about it. I start touching him so he will, below the waist where
it counts, and he gets quiet. But it doesn’t feel right
in my hand. And when I kiss behind his ear, he doesn’t
seem to like it the way you do, keeps trying to pull me towards
his mouth. And all the time I want to taste the crystal salts
of your skin again, like being pulled under a wave and my feet
not touching anything, to know that you keep
a space for me in your life, maybe even the size of the
crescent moon of a clipped finger nail, or perhaps a whole
finger, or one of your hands, just in case things are
different one day, just in case people do change and you
think of planting things again.
But this guy. This guy whose name keeps
slipping my mind, like a bar of leftover soap,
all tangled up with hair, and his aching knee,
his horribly aching knee, it all feels a little, a little unlike
you. You’ve never broken a bone. Never twisted any
part of yourself.
And I think for a second what the point
of all this is. If only to feel loved
for just one night? If only to write even one poem?