it’s that burning sun again,
clawing through your curtains
as if it’s his right to strip you of
those last six seconds of slumber
(those last six seconds to pretend that
everything is all right, that she is here, and you are here,
and that puzzle you’ve been trying to finish for years
has finally pressed together as one).
next to you the bed is cold,
and the sun casts his spotlight onto those matted sheets
to illuminate the loneliness that clogs
your throat – has clogged your throat
(has choked you, and hanged you,
and left you broken, because it couldn’t quite
finish the job, and you wish it had; you wish you
could have the luxury of that excuse).
it’s 7 a.m., and it’s hilarious
how your head hammers this way,
loud enough to suffocate the screams
of the alarm at your ear
(but whiskey is your freedom, your
salvation, and that bottle is only one hand away,
so tempting in a world of heartache and empty beds and
unfinished puzzles) –
you’re missing the final piece,
misplaced it somewhere between
your mattress and reality, so
you raise that bottle high against the sunlight,
the amber a familiar glow against your eye,
and you look again.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.