Home » Uncategorized » “When You Lose Your ‘Way’ You Lose Your ‘Why”

“When You Lose Your ‘Way’ You Lose Your ‘Why”

You will be out with friends

when the news of her existence

will be accidentally spilled all over

your bar stool. Respond calmly

as if it was only a change in weather,

a punch line you saw coming.

After your fourth shot of cheap liquor,

leave the image of him kissing another woman

in the toilet.

In the morning, her name will be

in every headline: car crash, robbery, flood.

When he calls you, ignore the hundreds of ropes

untangling themselves in your stomach.

You are the friend again.

He invites

you over for dinner and you say yes

too easily. Remind yourself this isn’t special,

it’s only dinner, everyone has to eat.

When he greets you at the door, do not think

for one second you are the reason

he wore cologne tonight.

In his kitchen, he will hand-feed you

a piece of red pepper. His laugh

will be low and warm and it will make you

feel like candlelight. Do not think this is special.

Do not count on your fingers the number

of freckles you could kiss too easily.

Try to think of pilot lights and olive oil,

not everything you have ever loved about him,

or it will suddenly feel boiling and possible

and so close. You will find her bobby pins

laying innocently on his bathroom sink.

Her bobby pins. They look like the wiry legs

of spiders, splinters of her undressing

in his bed. Do not say anything.

Think of stealing them, wearing them

home in your hair. When he hugs you goodbye,

let him kiss you on the forehead.

Settle for target practice.

At home, you will picture her across town

pressing her fingers into his back

like wet cement. You will wonder

if she looks like you, if you are two bedrooms

in the same house. Did he fall for her features

like rearranged furniture? When he kisses her,

does she taste like wet paint?

You will want to call him.

You will go as far as holding the phone

in your hand, imagine telling him

unimaginable things like ‘you are always
 ticking inside of me’ and ‘I dream of you
 more often than I don’t.’
 My body is a dead language 
and you pronounce
 each word perfectly.

Do not call him.

Fall asleep to the hum of the fan.

She must make him happy.

She must be his favorite place in his world.

You are a souvenir shop, where he goes

to remember how much people miss him

when he is gone.

~Sierra DeMulder 


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