A list of reminders that you were here

Signs that you will soon be arriving:

Coca Cola bottles in the fridge.
Large ice cubes prepped in the freezer.
Crunch Bars and Chex Mix in the cabinet.
Folded towels waiting on the bathroom counter.
An empty dishwasher.
My favorite lingerie laid out at the top of the drawer.
Bed made, throw pillows on the floor
(Because, as you said that first night,
“Too many damn pillows!”
After I pulled you into bed
And tried to keep you there for the rest of the year,
Or at least rest of the weekend).
The light smell of the late afternoon coffee I brewed
To stay awake until you’d arrive,
Even though the adrenaline wouldn’t let me sit still.

Signs that you’ve just left:

Empty Coca Cola bottles in the recycling bag.
Fewer large ice cubes prepped in the freezer,
A new batch that you started still half-liquid.
Crunch Bar wrappers in the trash,
The little corner of one tucked under a placemat.
Half the bag of Chex Mix gone.
Towels hanging on the back of the door,
Then put into the basket for the wash.
A dishwasher waiting to be turned on.
My favorite lingerie waiting to be gently hand-scrubbed in the sink.
Bed made, throw pillows still on the floor,
The scent of your hair stuck to the sheets
(And to my hands, from how many times
I brushed it away from your face at the train station,
Wondering with each stroke
If I could crawl into those deep gray eyes of yours
And come with you).
Your Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue cologne mingling with
The smell of the bacon you cooked for breakfast to go with
Eggs and a flawless potato galette.
Pieces of that potato galette on the edge of the stove.
A clawing silence that I can’t cover up,
Not even with the Four Tops record you gave me
Spinning at the highest volume my Victrola can play.
A quiet that’s filled with the sounds of sirens
Bouncing off buildings in the city I love,
Just love a little less when you’re not here.

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