Traces of tobacco tip toed

me back to my room. The

side of my sleeve, my hoodie’s

rim, reeked of your cigarette cough.


On your patio, peeling back conversations


our snickers and long pauses, I’d smile

through the silence because he didn’t

know about this.

He didn’t know about us.


I’d always laugh at your jokes –

crack up just at the thought that I

didn’t understand you.

You were a challenge.


Lying awake in my bed,

I knew it was you who kept me up.

The thought of you was exhausting.

If you laid with me, would you bring a pack to bed?

Would you take a hit and turn over?

The way I thought of you, was too stale

to be considered a fantasy. I thought of you,

because I knew you thought of me like that.

Like this. Like “us” was actually something.


Months later, I talk to him about you like we were just friends.

You’d walk me home – hands pocketed, mine open, arms down (just in case) –

and offer open-ended plans. At this point, I felt like I was sacraficing

time with him just to think about you.


It was hard to love him,

when I knew you were investing time in me:

emotionally, mentally.

It was hard to break your heart

when we both were in denial of our intentions.

During the day, I’d sit at my desk.

I’d smell my cologne (cigarette-free)

and wonder why I ever started talking to you.





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