As Opposed To

Standing in the shower hands on my eyes thinking too long about what I’d say or said before and what you thought of what I said and what I thought would happen the next time we fucked or fought or went to the mall and in the end I’d used up every poem and early morning writing spree in the hopes of making you hungry and all that was left was the fact that I knew your middle name and what you liked for dinner and the moles on your back and the tattoo on your side of the little kids with bright balloons and your decision to no longer shave and what you listened to on Spotify and the types of pictures you took when you first landed on an unfamiliar tarmac and sugar in your coffee and honey in your tea and don’t go too fast or too hard and grab my ass and what are you thinking and the broken down carnival rides and London Spain Italy Marrakesh and the boy named James and the Polaroid camera and your arms around my neck in a hostel pool in Cambodia and the guys who treated you like shit and the ones who didn’t and where do I stand and where do we stand and what are we doing fuck if I know all I know is that things were better when I learned your name and better yet when I learned the names of your parents and siblings and friends back in white-sand Florida and all the places you fucked as a kid and the way food looks when it’s stuck in your teeth and the way your legs look when you don’t want me looking and the way it looked when I was inside you then outside you then back again and again just pull my hair and put your hands around my throat and I know we’re not romantics but and I know you hate when I say it but I don’t I never did I was romantic I am romantic that’s the problem there are no problems we’re alive and we know our names and we know we’re fine and you’ll be great and I’ll be great we had lives before this one and we’ll have another one soon and this is nothing new things change people change times change in new places and old places and we’re all adults and we’re rational and mature and so grown up but I’m still young and you’re younger still and I tried and you tried and isn’t that the pits all that trying and fucking and eating and sleeping and thanks for showing me that song and that’s my new favorite movie and this one’s on me and my parents say hi and I’ll miss you when you’re gone and I’ll miss you when you’re gone and I’ll miss you when you’re gone because I miss you now and you’re sitting at the end of the same couch and I don’t want this sentence to end because then

Travis Roberts holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Western Washington University. You can find him in Smashed Cat, Black Heart Magazine, Eunoia Review, and The Molotov Cocktail, among others. He currently teaches English in central Thailand.

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