February 5, 2017


My lovers leave when the leaves begin to fall,
and, I drink red instead of white. Cabernet thickness, swallowing
soft black sweater. The lamp in the corner left on,
my reflection in the front window a portrait.

The house quiet once again,
I shed like the trees outside my kitchen window,
a weight once on me like wet clothes
falls away, piece by piece, and I begin to find
silver bracelets in bathroom drawers, notice
the lighter ends of my eyelashes, the way
I touch myself more, palms against breasts,
give of my hips while I wait
in the express line, not caring
if anyone notices.

My solitude more than freedom,
something I own, and the space carved away
by absence becomes a comfort, the way sheets
pulled back at night look
when you’re climbing in next to no one.

So I buy caramels instead of coffee,
sit on the kitchen floor and unwrap,
one by one. Go to bed before nine.
Underline words I don’t know
in novels, make a list to learn
by the end of each week until I can speak
a new language.

Jill Talbot

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