living with loss

he knows me well,
walks through my apartment
like he owns the place,
casts a shadow on every
corner with even a
semblance of light
reflecting off it.

we live together.

the closet is half mine,
half his.
he fills his side
with all my traumas,
color-coded and
freshly folded,
ready to wear.

he owns the
air i breathe, too
and charges me guilt on
days i breathe too well,

i tip him extra.

half the fridge belongs to
him. he stocks it
with my memories,
plastic-wrapped and frozen
in time,
ready to be consumed.

most breakfasts are
nights at the hospital.

for lunch,
he’s spoon-feeding me
beeping machines and calling
for nurses, sleeping on
the ICU floor,

he wants me nourished and
full

and i swallow every bite.

this is loss.

and you might have not noticed
him, but he saw you here.

he was the one that made sure
every kiss felt like our first
and our last, the butterflies
in our stomachs
fluttering but heavy with
dread.

he’s bigger now that
you’re gone, too.

this is loss.

he knows my name.
and i know him more intimately
than i ever wanted to.

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