Not so much

Not so much going, but fleeing.

Arms, wild and frantic; hands,
gripped around my wrist;
tongue, a thick muscle, vibrating
from your screams above the
crackling and spitting and hissing
of the flame.

Not so much quiet, but silence.

Your vacant suit, hanging limp
from the wardrobe, clinging
to the wire hanger; all frayed
cotton and your gold and green
cuff links still attached. You looked
smarter in the box.

Not so much smell, but a fragrance.

Your pillow, like hair and sleep
and drool. Unwashed pajamas and
crumbs from our breakfast.
A plate on the table, and your half
finished can on the floor.
Your side; covers thrown back.

Not so much shouting, more shrieking.

Lit up in orange, your hair went
first. I laughed when I saw you, bald
and pale. They did their best,
made you up well – the burns are
noticeable, only to me. You couldn’t
stand the pain of it.

Not so much lonely, but alone.

Soft lines of our floorboards,
waiting for their creak; caramel and
chocolates, ten cups of tea, the
pleasure of dinner alone. My food,
not yours. A terrible longing;
no one to sleep with.

Not so much forgetting, more ignoring.

Taking down your photos, waiting
for you coming home. The six o’clock
bus, heels on the pavement, the
phone with your mother. Your key,
the click of a door, a gush of cold air.
Waiting for nothing.

Not so much broken, more cracked.


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