by Lauren Skvarla
There’s no need to knock.
Like each time before, I knew you’d be back,
So, I left the door ajar.
For a moment, as I waited for you to return,
I thought perhaps you’d moved on.
Found another to embrace.
Found another to possess.
I realize I was naive.
Why did I ever trust myself?
Why did I believe you would leave me alone?
But I sense your warmth, and it’s familiar.
I feel your grip, and it’s reassuring.
You are my consistency — my companion.
They say, “Just don’t listen.”
How can I not listen when your every word permeates, saturates, satiates. Your cries, as I count the minutes.
Your pleas, as I drive in solitude.
Your whispers, as I fall asleep.
Each lie you tell resounds in every word I speak.
Tomorrow, you will hear the slide of the bolt.
Deafening, reverberating, as I lock you out forever.
Then in a day — a week — a month —
I’ll crack the door open slowly, cautiously an inch at a time.
When I’m convinced that you’re not coming back,
I’ll step outside.
And you’ll be there waiting for me.