not my own.

I watch you leave.
I imagine the scent you have left on the pillow
Your toothbrush beside the sink
and your tie on the floor,
The lights on and the slow
Steady
Drip of the tap.
It is just like you to linger.

After long breaths I enter the space.
It still smells of you and, greedy,
I drink the last of you in.
You will not return
And I will not call you back.
I sink deep into the cracks you have made
And for a moment, I think I could live there.

In the space that you just left, the
Perfect negative.
I imagine you better. Wholly mine.
I do not have to share you:
Not with who you thought you would be’
The brokenness of who you are.
Not with the family you made
While you were—you said—looking for me.

I am a shell, hollowed out, but not broken.
Press me against you and you can hear
Wave upon wave
Of empty remembrances,
Of sea salted nothing,
Ruinous and vast.
I think of your words, equally vast. And ruinous.

How I waited for you,
To be,
And to be mine.
You would take me with you and we
Would begin again. You, with your art
And me.
Perhaps I was this empty and lost, always,
But more likely I was waiting and you poisoned my well.

I hear your voice on the line
That you promised to never ring again.
You miss me,
You are nothing without me,
I am responsible for who you are
I have to finish what I’ve started.
I have to unmake what I have made.

For me you paint a portrait
Us.
A warm someone to press against
Kisses that draw me to the brink
Lovemaking that pushes me over.
The push and pull of
Together, a voice to fill
The silence.

Were I stronger I might hang up
Or not answer at all.
I might say you don’t respect me
But I respect myself.
I do not need to be complemented
Or complimented.
Myself, I am enough.

I say none of these.
The picture you painted was in vain:
I do not have to imagine
The empty bed,
The splitting ache of loneliness,
And the silence of my house;
And I welcome the ruinous ache of you
And with you, the only arms to hold me not my own.

 

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