Relapse

Relapse

for those addiction have left behind

Side by side like cushions on the couch
they slide into each others’ angles each
others’ next as close as lint in Levi’s
pockets or freckles like chapstick
on each others’ lips noodles in a bowl
so salty so close they are each others’
exhale laugh and sigh watching their
shows at night she absorbs the steady
rise of his chest her hand on his breath
he leans at last releasing his neck
alongside her head his seams
all measured he’s counted his steps.

Tiny as an eyelash she feels it
a shift a smidgeon a twitch in his
blink it nudges behind her eyes
like a tongue worries a crack at the
back of a tooth or a mosquito readies
its sting her sensibility bites so light
so innocent as white as a secret
bandaged to the bottom of something
unsuspecting unexpected like shaving
cream or a razor or below the cotton
swabs he rises yawns hits pause ‘have to
pee’ he says she does not see how his
absence hollows her like a sink defines
her long curled limbs arched like a C
around his vacancy her colors her cats
she thinks no stop it to herself he returns
anxiety shed like toilet paper unrolled
waving and waiting for a powdery paw
to play he glides into her waiting space
certain he’s tucked restless far enough
away that he’ll be led to dreamless sleep
through the raw sliver of dishonesty
she believes their comfort is resealed
hears the cats play with tissue down the hall.

At breakfast he slides eggs on her plate slides
breakfast to her place slides into his chair like
a waiter a snake busy behind his pupils wide
as if he had another table to serve as if he
had something more important to do slippery
and rigid at once his knee shakes up
the table and flips the salt cellar asks of her
dreams of the time of the cats of the weather
she begs what is this this her food slithery
bacon burned what is going on she scrapes
granules across the table into a cupped hand they
bristle little blades cutting her certainty
his eyes slice across the table to the door his
head wobbles back and forth like a bobble
head go blue he mumbles or something then
grabs a sloppy bag from behind the empty
couch where their bodies’ indentations have
risen now are smooth she gasps watching him
as if on a runway readying for flight wingless
no brakes low fuel he’s gone and he cannot see
that it is she who will take off who will fly.

Photo by Rico Van de Voorde on Unsplash

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