At 5 p.m. today the chill began to set in and I remembered.
The dusk clouds grew heavy. The eyes began to wander towards naps.
I ate dinner, alone, in bed, not thinking of you.
Weeks ago we saw each other
passing through the corridor, trying to move
with the walls, disappear like marble,
your eyes little lizards dashing under dead leaves
and mine, frozen
mouth barely moving
as I ducked into the feathered blue coat of the woman walking with me.
It’s been six months, at most, now,
and I’ve been afraid to count.
You gave me up like that,
left me on the living room floor
heavy with sleep & grasp & blankets
and a lingering taste, penetrative
you wrung around, thinking
If the firepit could be so beautiful,
I’d try to make it love me too
after I had waited outside the gravesite for you
to come help me move
the boulder, for nights, for three of them,
only the applied visions coming to haunt me
when you came to wake me up, and I wept, and waited some more.
I am awake most nights.
I spend most my time alone, to others,
I am either a priest or a whore
which is still probably what they thought before
you came to me, wet, from a rainstorm
you invented as you watched me sleep
thinking of my dreams, of the reason
why I waited so long for him to come back
and why when it was you, you couldn’t take me,
wishing we had never moved the boulder,
that I had never waited, that you had never watched,
that we didn’t tell the stories like some god had been talking to us,
that I couldn’t be the undersigned, could be anything else,
and you could be, too, no more legends
like you were the door I was trying to open,
a slab of wood that would never know
who, exactly, had carried it on its shoulders—
I want to sleep unalone again.
I can’t until you get out of my bed.
Previously published in The Legendary.