to the person with the same glasses

 

 

i got too close to something and singed my fingers. no,

wrong metaphor.

but close:

i looked away when i realized

i was back on set, terrified at how well

i already knew my lines, like some kind of

loud, flashing twilight

between dream and nightmare.

but when i look back

into the crowded darkness you’re not there,

you’ve gone and you’ve taken with you

 

our apartment in east somerville

your orange tabby and

bookshelves of spanish novels

israeli cookbooks and

bad eighties films,

my desk stacked with graded papers and

dystopian short stories i xeroxed less-than-legally

because the school can’t afford thirty copies of one book.

underneath, the manuscript i work on when

i can’t sleep in on sundays,

your single-serve metal percolator,

your coffee with no cream and lots of sugar,

the small, circular motion of your hands as

you clean your glasses on the hem of your shirt.

 

But you asked me obvious things,

then wouldn’t answer my questions except

with jokes i was supposed to laugh at.

 

so i turned away.

 

when i turn back

panic

sets in until i remember

i can’t lose something

i never had.

 

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