you spend the day hungry
he leaves you in his bed that morning. he must go to work. he says he’ll be back for lunch. you wonder when that will be. you roll over in the sheets and close your eyes. you wish him a good day. you watch him leave. you sleep. you don’t know the time you wake up but the apartment is empty when you do. you shower with his shampoo and conditioner. you use two of his t shirts to dry your mess of hair. you sit on the deck and read his comics. you wear a bra but you don’t wear a shirt. your chest ripples with goosebumps. you eat a banana you found on the counter. you toast wheat bread and spread it with chocolate peanut butter from trader joes. you call your ex-boyfriend and tell him you’re bored. you text a man you wanted to fuck two years ago but never did. you wrap yourself in blankets and dream of the dead girl in Chicago; her body in a freezer; it’s as cold as his bed. you dream of what your life would be if you were neurotypical. it is still miserable. you wake up; its 12:48 in the afternoon and you have been alone all along. your stomach tells you he will not come back till after work. you put on a t shirt. you toast more bread. you spread more chocolate peanut butter. you hope the chocolate peanut butter is his and not his roommate’s. you check your phone; he sent you a text: I love my life. Thank you for being in it. you wonder what the fuck it all means. you ignore it. you’re certain it means he doesn’t mind ditching you for lunch. he texts you again at 5:26 and tells you to come outside. he takes you to an Indian place that makes you miss the curry back home. you chew the curry like it’s sinew. he says you look miserable. he laughs. you tell him that you are. you ask him how his day was. he says it was good. he says work wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. he says he had lunch with his girl. good, you say. you smile. you insist on paying the bill.
you wear the muzzle all weekend
Noun: 1. An invisible cage that keeps you
from saying love
(Note: not an “I wanna fuck you to sleep” kinda love; not an “I wanna meet your folks even though your dad doesn’t like black girls” love.
A love that explains why you spent part of your last paycheck on books of poetry he wanted; love that washed his dishes while he slept because his roommate complained when his girl left a kiss of lipstick on a coffee mug; love that agreed to dangle in the slate sky for three rotations, he’d never been on a ferris wheel; love that stayed up to comb your fingers through his hair).
Verb: 1. To recoil within.
2. To snatch up his half-finished beer that burns your throat your eyes closed he tells you the best thing he did that week was eat her pussy.
Amber Taylor is a poet and nonfiction writer. Her work has appeared in Rigorous, Rogue Agent, and The Blueshift Journal.