i. mami asks who the flowers are from, flashes a smile foreign to me now, and i can hear her thoughts; she’s hoping i won’t end up a solterona, after all.
“de nadie,” i say.
and it’s true. no one is anyone who isn’t you.
ii. i’m still having dreams where you lull me to sleep.
i’m not sure i’ll ever stop aching for all the things you never got to do.
iii. there’s a place out there somewhere, i tell myself, where i was the easier choice, and i’m watching you move around the kitchen, pouring spices and stirring, that mouth i love latching on to the rim of a glass, moving towards mine and giving me a taste of the amber liquid, Moonlight Drive on the record player.
you suck on my bottom lip and i hand you the joint.
iv. my heart lives there, in the world where we made it to shore. my body here, where we crashed time and time again; cursed to the place where we never make it past the rocks.
or maybe you do. or we both do. me all broken, bloody, missing entire pieces. you walking away whole with what i’m sure is my heart.
v. you’re the specter of a heartache i have no right to bear.
vi. if i saw you, i’d fall in love all over again, the way i do with the moon each time i look up and it’s full; you’re beautiful.
vii. i’m standing beneath these clouds and i can’t see the stars, but i’m still rounding them up in my head, like tallying up the days i haven’t seen you, like counting all the ways i would touch you if i could.
viii. my body moves with his, i cum, spent and grieving for all the ways i didn’t get to love you.
ix. there’s so many sunrises and sunsets i didn’t get to see you in.
x. i needed your permission to stay. it’s something you never gave.
(she was always your only choice)