She visits when I sit alone,
hands sliding across my face
to cover my eyes. The childhood
game I can never win.
I feel her expanding and swelling,
deflating, her hair waving across
the back of my neck—
the tidal pull of the gravity of us.
She melts behind me, barely shifting,
and her arms hold. I pretend she is warm.
I pretend the house around me
is not filled with fast food bags
and soda cans,
and the TV paused on some show
about a guy or a girl placed
in an awkward situation.
A supposedly live audience laughing.
I pretend I can feel her breathing,
feel her skin and breath and body
pushing against mine comfortably.
She teases the ring on my finger,
twisting around and around
until I open my eyes, and pull
my hand away from the polished ring,
look past the coffee table of cans
and bags, and fight the ache.
A garbage bag eats the trash—
fills with emptiness as it gets full.
Now, the living room is clean. Bare.
she always asked me to
wash them. Scrub away
stains and crust, like picking a scab.
A glass cracks, absorbs the pressure
of my ring on its surface.
I stand at the sink, broken
glass in hand as laughter drifts
from the TV.