We were drinking coffee when
depression showed up at the door of the home we built, pounding.
Eviction notice in hand,
your soul parceled out into donation bins.
caution tape around the chest that I slept on for a year.
I sit out in the sun
to bleach the tan line from my ring finger.
I hold cold cups and shake strangers’ hands
to erase the mould of your grasp from mine.
I want to sear off my palms.
I miss even those nights when you looked at my fire and laughed.
So I make you coffee (but I know I make it wrong);
your ghost in this house still criticizes.
I made you coffee every day because it was all I could do;
my only way of getting into you, a vector.
As the hot brew flowed past your heart, I watched,
like a child at Christmas, hoping you’d feel my love.
Hoping the glaze would clear up from your eyes.
I only wish this were a bond that stayed,
that stayed when your mind put plugs in your ears:
when I screamed and screamed that I loved you,
that I’d rock every little thing you regret to sleep.
I went to the doctor about this dizziness.
He checked my ears, he asked why my eyes were red.
This vertigo--a hurricane made by the page turning in my life.
I am a bag in your wind.
The day you left I wrote you a recipe for how you like your coffee,
because you don’t know, but I have it memorized.
My handwriting changes halfway down the page, as I change,
as you drive farther and farther away.
Our love is a child I’ve carried,
now I’m bent over, sick.
Loss took your place in our home,
but it’s unsteady on its feet;
I have to walk it from room to room.
My name has been yours, possessive.
And although these days I correct myself and say ‘I’ during speech,
My thoughts are still ‘we.’
I still think about your lungs when I cough.
So I still make us coffee every day (but I know I make it wrong).