sometimes he calls me and i remember
what joy is like — a small explosion
that leaves quiet flecks of longing
in its wake.
around him i pretend loneliness builds bridges
in the hollow walls of my heart.
i smother the fire out of my sadness
by pressing myself against a tiny clump
of grey covers to keep from writhing
into an unacceptable wrinkle of rage.
if he wasn’t the god of my world
maybe i could tell him i cry myself to sleep
wondering if my destiny is enduring
the empty embraces of my cold winter arms.
i protect him from my sadness instead
and talk about the sixteen degree weather
how my body turned winter cold for hours
no matter how close i leaned against the radiator.
i laugh and the sound sticks to my throat
when i say i finished and published my book
about the seven steps to conquer solitude
because of the blessedly empty winters.
he laughs and tell me how easy i have it.
yeah, i say, wrapping the phone cord around my arm
closing my eyes to stop the sticky stream of sadness.