“She could find nothing, for he had left nothing but his stunning absence.”
-Toni Morrison, Sula

I am learning to curb my enthusiasm,
to suck air deep into my belly
and hold my breath
and count to ten before letting myself
fall in love.

I am learning that I do not need
caffeine to jolt me awake in the morning,
just the memory, the dream of your
palms cupping my face,
licking my skin with your fingers.
That dream coupled with the memory
of your last words to me,
yes. Yes, that is enough to stop the dream,
to halt my dreaming.

I am learning that maybe I can convince myself
I do not need your love,
but that my body can be a traitor
because when I think of you
or inflect my voice the way you used to,
my body curls itself into a cave
and my cries ricochet
from my lungs to my gut to my breasts –
I am wracked by this
not need of you.
Of course I do not need your love.
I have myself. I am sure that is enough.


Gripe here!

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