Ten Poems for a Summer Breakup

a bit of a muddle

1:
When I go home,
We’ll just go back to being friends.
I said through sobs. You didn’t disagree.
But then you hugged me for so long at the airport.
And you said you’d mail me my favorite hair clip I left in the door of your car.
And you said you wanted to take a trip with me.
But you don’t think we have a future,
Because I don’t want money the way you do.

2:
I made a whole chicken today.
I went full housewife.
I was going to buy more deli chicken because I made too many sandwiches yesterday.
And thought, well, I can just buy a whole chicken.
It’s cheaper.
Lying to myself I have the time.

3:
I looked at him and felt nothing.
This boy who I left my boy for.
I sat with him,
And nothing,

4:
I remember this one position.
When we were sitting on your couch,
Me making sure we were the first people to have sex on that couch,
Like I made sure we were the first people to have sex on your other couch,
With my thighs around your turned body, sitting there by your unpacked amazon boxes,
A mess of not moving,
Thinking, we’ll never be like this again.
You won’t have this space for me the next time I’m here.

5:
Why did you have to tell me you missed me.
You’re not sentimental, but
You were sleeping on my side of the bed.
You ate all the food I made you.
You said your dog was waiting for me to come back.
You cared more about me when I was gone, than when I was there.
Why couldn’t you have cared when I was so depressed I couldn’t move?
Why couldn’t you have cared when you couldn’t arrange your schedule?
When it was my birthday?

6:
I told you, you know, I love you sometimes.
Not all the time but sometimes,
While we were doing dishes.
Rather you were doing dishes for me.
And you were so tired you weren’t quite working right.
And I felt it, so I said it,
So I didn’t regret it later.

7:
Am I driving you away?
I think those were your actual words.
While we were eating tacos at my sister’s favorite food truck.
I couldn’t say anything, think of anything.
You said, your silence says it all.
I wonder if she overheard us, the lady who made our lunch.

8:
I write it down because the depressed person’s short-term memory is shot.
That’s why I’m writing everything down.
It’s not some trying to be better than you competition, be the better note taker,
It’s because I probably won’t remember if I can’t find it somewhere.

9:
All I wanted to do was sit with you,
Your legs on my lap,
And listen to Astral Weeks, with nothing else to do.
No one who would call,
No plans to take my time.
I wanted to feel something at the same time you did.
I thought maybe someone else’s rhythm could help with that.

10:
We worked so well, that last week.
So well.
I made food, and you ate it, and complemented it, and were nice about it.
And I kept thinking maybe it’s a mistake.
You said, in our postmortem relationship phone call,
It would have worked if we weren’t far apart.
If you were depressed, if your mental health were better.
I thought, maybe, but maybe we never would have started.
We never even had to come up with a how we met story.

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