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I cock my head to the side
the knot in my neck still throbs
but not as bad as it did at 2 am
I drop the kids at school and make straight
for the medicine aisle then doughnut case
cause you gotta take it with food
I regret every sugary mouthful
but swallow anyway

now back in bed wondering when you’ll arrive
I stare at the clock I unplugged weeks ago
after reading, the blue glow haunts my dreams
remembering the one with hands
at eighteen on my boyfriend’s night stand
those rigid shards moved so slowly
in a pounding, painfully dull way
eventually swallowed the
“I’ll always love you though”
he didn’t want to hear

mine, ten years married, moved just as slow
every gear had a click and hum
every minute went through a cycle of twelve
plenty of time to figure out which bills got paid
which vendors would be delayed
and what goes best with gnocchi
was not the bitter taste of him but
to quicken the clock
until the day we decided shared custody
I always swallowed anyway

the reverberation of your bike hums through my torso
and I find it impossible to feign sleep
count every footstep from porch to kitchen to bed
bite my lip to stop the grin
as your clothes hit the floor

I would slow the hands if I could
madly scribble a list
of yes there, and there
and that one thing you do
but if minutes were ink my pen would go dry
as three hours pass like one smothered groan
and you leave me with a satisfied gleam
and I realize
like the pain in my neck
is all in my head