I wrote this poem almost two years ago, but was thinking about it because of multiple things happening now. …
That night, when the curtains danced with grace, the full moon high above the pine tree in the backyard, your face full and on fire in front of mine, accusatory and loud, me, wound tight in a ball, while the cat sat motionless behind the curtains.
That night, when we first met, me: smoking a cigarette, you: in your dry-cleaned shirt, forgetting my name the next day, using the car registration to write it down.
That night, when the email appeared, from somewhere. I saw you, in one of your shirts, your hair frazzled, the cat somewhere, the actions being taken. A plan, the steps in motion, like baking bread, assembling the ingredients in a methodical way. What music would be played? What lights would be left on? Are the keys in the tray? Is the car unlocked?
Then, later, the night you went away, and me, left alone in the bedroom every night with the doors and the windows open to the fog horns moaning, the ambulances and police cars roaring by outside, the raccoons coming inside, eating the cat food, leaving their large grainy paw prints on the tile floor, and me, scrubbing the floor clean every day, throwing out the garbage, chasing off the coons with a broom at night, running into the back yard like a crazy woman with a broom handle, and finally locking the doors and windows each night.
One night, I drove and picked you up from the place. You sat beside me in the car, quiet as a stone. It felt like the calm part of water before the waves begin, calm at first, then with more intensity with each ripple, one after the other.
One night, you made a joke that we should get married and you laughed after saying it. I didn’t think it was funny, and looked at the floor instead.
One night, I found a bottle, hidden and almost empty, in the bottom drawer. I left for a walk and when I came back, you were gone.
One night, you didn’t come home at all. I closed the bedroom door, and locked all the windows and went to bed.