The Last Train Out: Draft Two

One morning,
I looked in the mirror
and saw the reflection of a man who
looked like he’d missed the last train out.

I had wrestled out of sleep,
recalling my dreams of cataloged images,
a list of all the reasons I had loved you.
I counted each image as I remembered them:
Number one was your eyelashes.
Forty-four was your delicious French toast,
and eighty-five, the way your glasses slid down
the slope of your nose while you read.
Somewhere around a hundred and twelve
the images started drowning.

That morning,
I stared at the toaster
and watched as it burned my regrets
into the fibers of the crust,
then I poured milk down into my burning chest.
I stood in the kitchen,
my mind running
through our days together
trying to patch the gaps of all
the times I might have gone wrong.

Number seven: The crook in your smile.

At work,
I heard my heart scream so loud
my ribcage rattled.
The echo of your goodbye
clanging in my lungs
like a coffee mug on the bars of a jail cell.
And now, I’m in prisoner’s stripes
caught behind bars, hoping
another shot of whiskey
will numb the bruises on my chest.

Number twenty-nine: The way you sing in the shower.

During lunch,
I tried to write you a poem,
but I couldn’t get past your name.

I made it through the day
knowing you wouldn’t be home when I got there.
Every commute home I knew I’d make a meal for one.
And when the weekend began, I settled plans
to remind myself than I’m still a man.
But my fresh start was over
when I found your college shirt in the hamper.

Number sixty-seven: How you smelled after a long day.

It was that moment I realized the word
“Never.”
Never would you ever step a foot in my door.
Never would you laugh at my jokes,
never call my number
or my name,
never admit to loving me.

You would never sit at my table again,
no matter how much I’d beg you to.

And though I still have
twenty-four, ninety-eight, and eleven
recurring in my sleep,
I’ll never have you again.

About Ry

It's so magical, it's gay.
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