My gifts are in my grief,
in the ways I can look over shattered rearview mirrors
and see only beauty
ignoring the scars and broken glass
taking in only the sunshine
refracting into my eyes between the cracks.
I'm good at grief.
Sitting in this hotel room hundreds and hundreds of miles away
I can turn my head back over my shoulder
see behind me
and I can practically run my hands through your hair
feel your falling fingers drag like ribbons down my neck
each one drawing the same blood
that brought the sharks.
That mirror sometimes shows them, too,
circling through cell phones and drifting through divorces
but my eyes never seem to leave that bottom-right corner:
the place where that small part of you held on so tight
while the rest of you drifted
and there I remained,
while you dragged yourself away.
This hotel room is quiet.
It's a soft night in a soft part of town,
and Hitch is curled up like a cinnamon bun in my lap,
exuding kitten purrs and kind eyes.
But these last few nights have been a little hard
because Hitch stirs in his sleep
and buries his head in the crink of my armpit,
waking up every three hours or so for a drink of water
blindly kissing my ear (after aiming for my cheek)
just like you used to.
I hope that you're asleep right now,
enjoying the winter air of [wherever the hell you are]
taking deep December breaths
and dreaming of raindrops on windowsills.
But do you see?
Is it clear how I can't even talk about how you destroyed yourself
without me romanticizing the way you used to be?
I've seen people die.
Then I bring them back as ghosts
and wonder why I can't sleep.