Fickle as You
The pendulum swings over us–
unsettling, unsure as you.
One moment a woven fabric for us to nestle in,
warm and a comfort.
Another, shadows darken vegetable fried rice and our conversation.
Ice cream melts as you are taken
from me for one day, two.
I read book after book, waiting for the spell
to break and your voice to come through the line clear.
I want the sun to rise, mist clearing with
the night, fog departing as quickly as it came.
Never an apology, never a memory.
You wake from the dream born new
for a temporary visit before leaving me again.
I sit across the table from your pregnant sister
at your favorite restaurant.
My hands are shaking more than they have
in 7 years since my first poetry slam.
My menu sits unopened at the lip of our table
as a storm urges my stomach to release.
I start with the first dogeared page and begin,
surrendering to the inevitable splintering betrayal.
I tell her about the time you clasped a hand
around my neck
in our tiny kitchen in that second apartment,
telling me you could hurt me and not feel a thing.
I tell her about the voices that told you to walk over to the window,
open it, pick up the dog, and jump from three stories
onto the concrete pathway.
I tell her about the constant begging for a suicide pact,
almost like you are asking for permission.
Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, my birthday,
no day is immune to your persistence.
I tell her that you don’t eat until 7 p.m.,
can no longer remember simple tasks,
and cry out in bursts without warning.
I tell her that maybe I didn’t do everything right,
but I cared about you.
Aimee Nicole is a queer poet currently residing in Rhode Island. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Roger Williams University and has been published by the Red Booth Review, Borrowed Solace, and Voice of Eve, among others. For fun, she enjoys attending roller derby bouts and trying desperately to win at drag bingo.