It is the last night of solitude: I admire

the vase of fresh flowers on my one table

and sit up late stubbing cigarettes

into an old tin can on my porch.

The sky feels too wide for fall, too sweaty

and open, panting after a full day of sun.

I don’t think of anything but his arms, his

absence—the way it is more like a presence—

a body that walks room to room, unfolding clothes

and turning on lights.

In the morning I will wake alone,

and this cocoon will stretch, cover

my car and guide me safely to work. I do not listen

to the radio. I do not own a T.V. The world feels

made for only me, a series of stops

that rise with my need

and cease to exist once I am gone:

gas station, coffee shop, office.

The stairways take me where I need to be

and nowhere else. I am not curious.

On the way home, I will shop for shoes

and watch people eat at outdoor restaurants,

sip coffee contemplatively, cry or maybe cast a smile

in a familiar direction. The day will still be too new

for them to understand. Even I will not get it—

this new family that suffering makes of us,

this ache that feels, for a moment,

like something to cherish.

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