the absence poems: 5/31
5/31: x days before you leave
I feel it coming like a bad heartbeat
and wonder if there will be an after:
how I’ll remake myself and continue past
the moment, if I can fix my own devastation.
Is it possible to live undevastated
with your absence? I don’t want to be your trail
but I can’t forget you either. No joy now.
We carry traces of each other like snow.
You’ve shaken yours off, somewhere, in summer.
I wrap mine around me for a cloak.
Everything I write contains you. I build boxes
to save you. And still I am the one stuck
inside them, clawing at walls. I could yell
get out of me but truthfully I like the haunting,
how your memories call to me when I’m lonely
and I sponge them up with my whole body.
I imagine what you’d say to me. Get over it.
Who cares. We didn’t mean anything.
But everything with you felt like the good ending,
finally living the life you’re meant to be from. Now
I can never write past the middle, and that’s what scares me most—
I don’t know what you’re doing when you’re gone.