Dear Roomie: A Letter Poem

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You do things that puzzle me, like fall asleep lying

on the couch in your coat and hat.

You do things that set my teeth on edge, like leave every light on,

every cabinet open.

I always know where you’ve just been.

But I guess that’s why I always feel it so sharply when you’re gone.

All the lights off. All the doors closed.

I worry while you’re away you’ll think of a reason not to come back.

There are moments I love: we are standing in the bathroom, and I am cutting your hair. You’re bald with a red beard, and yours is the fiercest countenance I have ever loved. You stink from work, yet I could lick the sweat from your skin. I know that’s just chemicals talking but I am listening.

You on your couch, me on mine: a country between us.

Do that thing that pleases me and climb back up the stairs right as you were heading to work to kiss my sleeping head.

I wake up in the dark, and

all the lights are off.

 

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