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On Loving a Boy Who Left

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There are days when all I know
is ache;
it swallows and swallows me, steady teeth cracking.
I curl up in the swollen-balloon stomach of
nostalgia and
wait.

I find pieces of him
everywhere. My hair knots in the shape of
memory. There’s a jasmine aftertaste on
my silver soup spoons, a girl enamored with
the negative space beside her.We kiss, I
spit.
My mouth writhes and winds,
a snake that can’t quite shed its skin.

I wonder when my phone will ring,
though he’s probably forgotten my number, the way
it taps out on a keypad.
I’m foul and stinging. I’m blue as
dirt. He never did like calling,
or remembering,
and I am still so in love
with both.

There is crushing emptiness against me.
It shrinks the room and stinks like stale breath,
but I find that everywhere without his hand clutched loosely in mine
reeks and decays.
the stench of death
suffocates my sweet jasmine boy.




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