You’re tethered to every part of me,
invisible umbilical cord. I can’t get rid of you.
I brush my teeth at noon and you’re there, too—
laughing through toothpaste foam and hogging the sink
like it’s all yours, only yours. I trudge home under the glow
of our flickering street lights and remember arguing with you
about something you’d said earlier that I misinterpreted,
took your joke as a knife in the side rather than what
it really was— an attempt to carry some color to my face.
You’re a phantom limb. You’re the other end
of the rope and I’m the pathetic tug-of-war loser.
I rest under our tree sometimes and am transported
backwards, to the midnight I first touched you.
You’re flushed and you’re timid and you paint me
like an artist. A cheek, then a collarbone,
then suddenly you’re closer than flesh
and I’m all yours, only yours.