you start putting cream in your coffee,
because in his memories of you
you’ll continue to drink it black.
you buy a brand-new vibrator
and leave it sitting out on your bed at all times
because there’s no one in your life now
for it to loom over, reminding them
they can’t make you feel good
and that feeling good is something you want
and that you can get what you want
you rekindle your love for early 2000’s butt rock
with vocals that sound like microwaved,
boneless Eddie Vedder. you flood your brain
with Hoobastank and Creed and when you catch yourself
cringing on his behalf, you turn it up louder.
you think about that time he called you “chubby”
and order two medium pizzas from Dominos.
you remember his constant displeasure
at your lack of milk, leafy greens, and salad dressing
and let your fridge grow empty, your meager
cooking knowledge eroding under a pile of pizza boxes
and smiley-face takeout bags. you forget
how to make eggs, and it makes you feel lighter.
you think about getting that nose piercing
that he thought was stupid. you consider
selling photos of your feet and ass online,
but that has nothing to do with him.
you just want money. you just want to know
what each part of you is worth now,
used-up and haunted.
a few months pass,
you start excelling at work again,
you start to feel like maybe
there’s more ahead than behind you
and how sad that also is.
your friends Go Places
and get Good Deals on cute apartments.
they’re throwing parties, scratch-making meals
you’re paying 30 bucks for on GrubHub.
they’re buying gym memberships, essential oils.
they don’t get it, you’re the one who left,
you’re supposed to gracefully peel him off
like a too-small snakeskin and be reborn unscarred
and short-haired on a mountain somewhere,
like some kind of lifestyle blogger.
but that’s okay, you don’t need them,
you have your eggless mornings
your Coffee-Mate and Chad Kroeger,
a dozen writhing orgasms ahead of you
in that unwashed bed. i mean,
look at all the space in it.
♥ ♥ ♥
CREDIT CHECK POEM
when he left my place for the last time, I waited
just long enough to hear the elevator
clinking to life behind my bedroom wall
before I called you and peeled off my clothes.
and I guess that makes me an asshole,
guess that makes me a vessel that can’t stand
its own emptiness, won’t turn its hands
on itself for once, feel how deep that bottom is.
how do I tell them that you are not a sack
of packing peanuts, that I loved you before I could
picture you inside me? I know how it looks,
this room filled with so much steam it makes sense
I can’t perform grief in these clothes, how my voids
match your outlines so well you could have traced them,
but you can’t fake this kind of shit timing.
and is it even shit timing? and were all those nights spent
crying for each other with all of Pennsylvania
wedged between us not a ransom for this one
in my still-lit room, where my makeup melts
onto the thumb-worn touch screen of my iPhone,
every breath too heavy to hold itself up?
where I don’t know if it’s the pent-up lust or the exhaustion,
but I swear I can feel your weight on me from here
as your body idles into the receiver like a diesel engine?
I want to go back to that first night at my house
and harvest all that wasted heat between us.
I want to burn the flesh off every poem I swore
wasn’t a love poem, melt down the bones, let the pressure
of our bitten tongues mold these past six months
into thin, shiny plastic. we have enough sad irony
on this thing to charge every single cent of moral debt
and then some, so tell me what you want, baby.
tell me you’ve earned it. do it for us both.