After.

The empty tea pot in the corner smudged with joint fingerprints,
the fine China cup laced with your breath is silent,
the stray leaves stuck to the white porcelain
The memory of a forgotten coversation
The couch still holding the shape of your buttocks
The cigarette stubbed on the corner
Mid-conversation,
There is an air of finality,
In the residue of your presence
Which stays stamped in my head
The way your absence never could.

I find more of you in the smell
Of your skin on the handrest
Long after you’ve left,
Than in the closet of your goodbye hug.

Being with you feels like sand slipping through my fingers
But after you leave
Before collecting the china,
Fluffing the pillows,
For a minute I pause and soak in
The perfect you-shaped hole
Left in my tiny room.
Your absence is always more complete,
You are best defined by
The shape of your shadow, arrested in space
Lingering long after you leave
You are more perfect now, in the aftermath
Devoid of all the changes
You could have wrought
Had you not left.

I rather like, the you-shaped hole
In my chest.

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