Across the table you sink your teeth into the purplish skin of your past. You found his profile on plenty of fish offering the pull of his lips; your shoes in the background. A row about the earring you discovered in his car. He held his head in his hands and left his key on your dresser. You turned over the mattress. Your baby will never know who her dad is.
I can’t sleep in hotels. The sound of closing doors and talk of people leaving, shakes the air inside my room. Rain furrows the glass. I look through the window to see families and their luggage spooling back in their cars. I shut my curtains against the gloaming and lay alone. I spend the night staring at the white washed walls.
I miss the smell of smoke coming in the open window. You would sit on the step, in a circle of light and watch the sunset. Exhaling; your lips were an ‘O’, your breath; a wreath above your head. Your pack of Marlboro gathers dust on the shelf and your smoker’s tray is full of rain and autumn leaves. I remember your cigarette butt glowed and the ash scattered in the wind.
Silence stretches between us, his hands and eyes locked under the table texting his mates. The waiter lights a candle, pushes it between us. The wax melts then congeals like blood. He snaps his mobile shut. Looking at my chest he says, ‘I’ve got to go, it’s late.’ I watch his coat march out. Chips cool on his plate. My skin burns. On our first date the bill remains unpaid.
They had to knock out a wall before they could winch me onto the back of a lorry. My neighbours came to watch; I hadn’t left the house in years. They fastened me inside an industrial freezer. Then began the chore of constructing my coffin; a glamorised shed. Men hollowed a corner of a field, my parents looked at the crumbled soil and remembered the woman within.
I found myself snowed in with you. I slept in your bed, in week old sheets. In the morning, I showered with your boyfriend’s soap. You opened the bathroom door; your breath caught in your throat. Your lips parted at the starkness of my skin. Later, we trudged through snow until we reached the crossroad where you held me a few seconds longer than you should have. I realised as you walked away the intoxicating scent of the three of us, lingered on me.
I want you to feel the insufferable loss of me. I want you to feel as though you’re unable to function without me. I want your body to quake and quiver with the fantasy of me. I want you to sweat and howl; to run in wind and hail, through bracken, branches and stinging nettles and find me in a queue at Tesco’s and tell me those awesome words.