It’s the morning after last night

The first full night without him

And its funny, my eyes are sandy

My mouth tastes like last night’s cigarette

Even though I quit smoking ten years ago

I may have to start again. Don’t sneer.

He never did quit. Didn’t matter to me

I miss the snick of his lighter though

One of the pre dawn sounds that used to be

Part of the lullaby that we created together

To help each other through the night

Already I find myself reverting to old patterns

I’m afraid of the dark, always have been

As a child, I kept a flashlight and books

Under the covers with me, quiet as a mouse

Writing stories, reading to my dollies

Pretty faerytales to keep the monsters at bay

In this twenty-four hours, I am there again

Sleeping with my laptop for a night-light

Tapping out stories of love never-ending

Of soul mates and children and beautiful beginnings

I jump at every noise that I hear

In this house that is no longer a home

Placing my back against a pile of pillows

That are supposed to be the same configuration

As his frame, in this bed that feels the size of a hockey arena

And certainly, just as damn cold

How does he sleep without me?

He once told me that he hadn’t really slept in years

Not since we’d found one another

And how does he fight back those fears?

Who will know the words to say or the caresses

The exact touch and placement of kisses

That calms his nightmares right away?

Its light outside now. The monsters slink back to shadow

I think I’ll go make coffee. Even though I could sleep in

He liked fresh brewed coffee in the morning…

~ kei