Poem – The House Left Lit

You stain my walls
more than cigarettes.
Your smell lingers on my sheets
and your image,
that faded memory
of you coming through my door
to kiss me sweetly,
hangs heavy in the air.
In lonely nights
I close my eyes
and you
are still there,
in a baseball cap
and Calvins,
looking at me in a way
that teases and tempts,
smirks at my love for you
that I try to hide so well.
But you see it as clear as day,
find it effortlessly
like my heart that I tuck underneath
shirt sleeves
that I hope nobody will find.
Hope nobody notices
the lump it makes
and dares to peak.
But you dared.
And now, I’m stuck here
wondering how long
your perfume will cling to my pillowcase,
wishing you return soon
so I will never have to know.

I listen to a song on repeat
that reminds me of you.
And, when those 4 minutes and 17 seconds are over,
I play it again
to jolt that feeling once more –
that chest tightening
stomach giddy
don’t know what to do with it
feeling when you are around.
I can relive memories with you on Spotify –
you driving in your car
singing in a leather seat
one hand on the wheel
and the other on my thigh,
touching me in a way
that whispers safety –
a word I have never quite understood until now.
My fingertips don’t smell of smoke.
Instead, they smell of you.
They remember every arch of your back
every curve of your arms
the warmth of your chest under tank tops
and the way your hips trail downwards
shaping into a V.
They lead my wandering hands
to a source of electricity
that makes me the conductor
in a current that,
without the other,
would surely never work.

You permeate my dreams.
Remind my subconscious
of sleepless nights
and early mornings,
spent beside you
with you
a part of you.
And so I fall faster,
hit terminal velocity
and crash into devotion
affection
adoration
and hope you fix what’s left of me.
My heart becomes a revolving door.
My mouth a vessel for your name
and my palms are empty rooms without you.
I am a house with the lights on,
waiting for you to come home,
with walls not stained with cigarettes
but you.

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