The first time I was certain I’d heard the voice of God was at your house.
It didn’t feel like your house.

Our relationship relented against its finality
while I learned to love myself.

We sat on the pea green sofa in-
I guess- your living room.
You talked
of work
and of people.

There was emptiness to fill,
so we moved to the bed we used to share.
Your new room. My old lamp.
Sheets I’d only glanced once before but can never forget.

Three times, was it?
The last one, we tenderly left the planet together.
We returned and said little,
holding each other, our bodies warm and damp,
on that bed
under the glow of my old lamp.

We sleep better apart but I chose to stay after a month of good rest.

Each time I woke that night to a voice,
like mine but not quite:
“You fill your own cup now, remember?”

If Wine Worked

The other day at the grocery store the man behind me in line told me it was unusually busy because everyone’s trying to fill their emptiness with consumption. While I tend to agree with such sentiment I think it had more to do with the anticipation of more snow. People were simply stocking up.

He also told me he drinks two bottles of wine every night because he’s uninsured and can’t afford therapy, then asked me what my poison was. I didn’t have a good reply to his question. I looked in my basket and talked about what was in it instead. Honeycrisp apples, pecan halves, sunflower oil, greens and blueberries. He told me canola was the devil’s oil, but he’d never before cooked with sunflower oil. No poison here.

I envied the man’s lived in fantasy, that wine sufficed. I could smell the therapeutic work he’d been doing on himself before he mentioned it, the familiar, metallic sweetness that once emanated from me as well. Saturation on a cellular level. This made him my brother. (His being human alone made him my brother.) I wanted to hug him.

The holidays left me feeling like one giant blister. My therapist is out of town for the next month or longer and if wine worked none of this would be of concern to me. If wine worked, I never would have stopped.

What is my poison then? What am I left with? Snack cakes, seduction, caffeine, spending sprees, attention seeking.

When I got home I put my groceries away, laid across my bed and ate a Little Debbie.