Tag Archives: relationships

Now That You’re Gone

Now that you’re gone I go out less.
I stay inside in the evenings
in my pajamas and eat popcorn
from a bowl while watching
Friends reruns, a luxury i never had
when you were here.
In those days I smiled plainly,
chuckled at your jokes, kissed your cheek;
you kissed mine back as though
a few weeks ago
it hadn’t been
bright red and then purple and black
from the back of your hand.
In those days we went out
with your friends, never mine,
and you squeezed my hand under the table,
threatening me soundlessly
until your knuckles
were white and mine were red
while above the table you drank your
beers and laughed
at your friends’ asinine jokes.
They never knew. I never dared
say a word to anyone,
barely even to myself, although
I knew something was wrong.

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Upside down the lemon sits on the counter,
its pointed tip perfectly perpendicular to the
cutting board below it, sticking two inches
straight up into toward the ceiling. I rest my
hand on its other half, cupping it lightly
and running a thumb over the edge absent-mindedly,
resting the knife blade gently on its porous skin,
resting it gently under my gentle fingertips,
which press down on the lemon, slightly damp from the
juice within. The knife waits to cut into its flesh,
to devour it whole, to pour its juice out onto
its blade, onto the cutting board surface. Then,
with one fell swoop, the blade presses into the skin,
cuts into the flesh, releasing the fluid, cleaving
the lemon again and again, repeatedly slicing
at its supple white flesh, until all that is left
is a puddle of lemon juice on the cutting board,
the sweet nectar from the whole citrus.

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