Badly brewed tea
and a scone I should’ve eaten
by last Thursday.
My boss tells me I’m drifting.
I smile, or try to, until he shuffles his feet
and goes away.


I pretend not to notice
the thermostat.
Another sweater, I tell myself.
Another sweater.
The television isn’t kind,
nothing but Pizza Hut and CSI.


I let my mother’s voice roll onto
the answering machine.
I struggle through a mouthful
of old, sour beer;
I’m worried, she says.
She spins through half a tape
before finally hanging up.


Geoff invites me out for drinks,
something loud with cigarette smoke.
I shake my head, my mind
already sinking
into the couch.
I call the Chinese place,
and they pretend
not to know my order.


I haven’t washed his pillowcase.
The sheets, yes. Duvet, yes.
I even go to bed in my own pajamas.
Cold turkey, I tell myself, my face buried
in his scent.
You’ve got to go cold turkey.


I burn my hand on the kettle
and my tongue on some oatmeal.
Sucking an ice cube, I watch
the windows lengthen.
The second toothbrush smirks
when my fingers turn purple
against the floss.


I answer the door in my boxers,
can of Pringles in hand,
He takes me in with a glance,
rocking back onto his heels,
something in his face breaking,
and he says,
What have I done?

Leave a Reply