There is a stage in early childhood development
when a baby realizes for the first time that
they are not, in fact, part of their mother’s body.
That their heartbeats don’t float together
down the river of her arm or pass each other
like corresponding voices along telephone wires.
One day, when she leaves the room, the baby
will comprehend for the first time that they are alone.
Such a heavy thought for something so small.
And, yes, perhaps it is strange to describe
myself as your child. Perhaps it is problematic
to compare you—once my lover—to my mother.
You, who have painted my body with your body.
You, who have startled the crows of my heart.
You are not my mother but we have lived
inside each other for months. Perhaps
this is a bit of a stretch, but it is the only
adequate way I found to describe it. One day,
long after you left, I finally realized you were
actually gone. The suddenness. The spark.
Learning a new word for without.
- Sierra DeMulder
You are a souvenir shop, where he goes
to remember how much people miss him
when he is gone.