when I close my eyes, sometimes,

I am back in his bed, those early

January mornings

my alarm sounding at 0545

and my love, still fast asleep,

tightening his grip around my waist

my first thought was I don’t want to leave

and my second, his warmth calls me back to sleep

but I would still go,

leaving a circlet of kisses

around his crown

and I would pull on my clothes,

driving half an hour south

where I’d pick up Lil Cobra

for school

once she was dropped off,

usually forgetting her water bottle

or wallet in my car,

I’d drive twenty more minutes south

parking on a red brick road

waiting for the doors to unlock at 0800,

I’d think of how I left him,

soft, snoring, and asleep

tangled in blankets, naked underneath

and when campus finally opened,

I’d sling my backpack over my shoulders

walking to class alone,

I felt his absence like cracked ribs

every breath a sharp pain

and every bit of laughter, excruciating

I’d count down the hours

until 1425

and back on the highway,

I’d count down the exits

until 68

and I’d make a list

of all the things I wanted to say,

how I accidentally killed my brine shrimp again

how I fingered the calligraphy in primary source Islamic texts

how I missed him and what about the Truck Stop for dinner?


when I close my eyes, sometimes,

I am back in his lap, on the futon

and he’s looking at me

like I am the only thing

and I am grinning so hard

I’m showing my teeth

we seem so young,

eyes glittering and cheeks pink

yet it’s only been several months since then

and when I close my eyes, this time,

I don’t know where things went so wrong

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