The Best Week of Your Life

The sky hangs lower here
than it did back home,
back West, back where the hills
could hold it up
with their verdant atlas arms.

Who knows, maybe
I’m suffocating
in the secrecy of the
South, street-lamp bronze-bright
in my window
where an old oak used to sit,

and maybe it’s not the silence
in the room that’s trembling
at my closeness
but the lack of accent
in the footsteps outside.

Oh God. If time
ran backwards in paradox
and hours unravelled into frames
and frames into phrases,
how would you phrase this?

That I can’t make my tongue
move ‘I miss you’
through the wires, or
that soon I’ll see
everything but you and not cry.

That I’ll be coughing
up gin on my own, raw throat,
trying to forget how damn
guilty I don’t feel
about not being there.

You know this.
I’m lying through clenched teeth;
I’m fine, I’m fine, yes, no,
I talked to someone today,
I can function. I can function
and not crush

my heart
in the process. My bones
are metal, mother, metal.
I’m talking to strangers because
you told me to.

But the sky here
is like gorged fruit. It
hangs so low over the roofs
more like factories than
homes.

The rain here is sea-spray
not downpour. Who
knew I’d long
for grey, for the stillness
of three minds in place of one.

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