I keep your kiss next to the books I’ve read too many times. The picture of us sits sideways on the wall by the hole in the shape of my fist.
The smell of your skin, like freshly shaven wood by the pier, now smells of ashes in the cigarette bin. The smoke still lingers the same grey you turned my stomach. The tea stain on the nightstand threatens me with your eyes and your promises.
You spoke words you could never draw. Ideas you could never color.
Applied filter to my thoughts. They were only yours to begin with.
Move through my stomach like the virus that you are. Welcomed into my daily routine like my morning coffee. Breathed into my skin like the late night olive oil.
Your whisper like smoke, giving me chills on my neck… lingering in my hair… unable to wring you out my of hair. Why won’t you come out of my hair!
So I leave you there.
I braid you into the back, underneath the curls you adorned for years. I walk around and no one can see; only me. I feel you in the wind. I see you in the reflection off the spoon of our favorite restaurant. I cannot look at another man’s skin because nothing looks like yours. A unique blend of ebony and silk; smooth and strong used as armor. That thick skin prevented the purest emotion. In the years I have known you, no river had ever streamed your face in my presence. No salt dried onto your dark skin.
Until the day I left you.