in the morning, when I am still
pulsing in shades of fever dream,
seeing the day burn to color
by cracked kitchen light—
I will wonder what your face
must look like sleeping, staying.
how quickly you would tire of
the sick girl, spinning plates and
spitting crazy across the coffees.
how quickly the jewelry box
sprung open: you watch the ballerina
bleed out from her knees & you learn
you never really knew her, at all.
how quickly you would slip out
of the theater, gripping the untossed
rose stem, spilling red to your elbow.
how it is not the same. how you’d splash
all over the car seat, scream it her fault for
crying at your absence at curtain call,
for tapping at the window, for smoothing
out the rose petals on the drive home—
tell me again how this was not what you
signed up for. slam the box shut, throw
her into the attic and run for the getaway car.
your hands hide their wispy scars well. I was
never here. I will never come back, will brush my teeth
with honey, call out sick & fade—