Let’s try this againĀ 

I haven’t had a boyfriend for about five years.

I remember once, on a plane to Panama, maybe a year or two into our relationship, he was torturing me. Whispering demons into my ear. He was menacing. And I didn’t care that we were just beginning our vacation. I was fairly impulsive, so, I tried to break up with him. I figured I’d find my way home just as soon as we landed. I’d manage. I figured anything was better than this.

I looked for a different seat. He came and found me. Passed me a note that said, “I cut up your credit card and flushed it down the toilet. Good luck in a dangerous country like panama without me.”

The first man ive really been with, five years later, tells me he’d like to see the world.

I look at him and smile. “Yeah, I think you’d make a great traveling companion and I could use a revisit. I’d like for you to see it, too. It’d be fun for me to see what you do.”

He says, “You know, there are still some places you haven’t visited. Let’s go somewhere new.”

Questions I ask from my hospital bed

“Ok, now, remember you’re contagious. You don’t want to reinfect yourself again, your immune system isn’t at it’s best. If you have guests over you can disinfect everything and wear a mask. Throw out your toothbrush after 3 days. Be sure to wash your dishes thoroughly-”

“Nurse…i, uh, I have a puppy. Can he catch this from me?”

The nurse chuckles, “Oh no, honey. Here, take this. Your fever is breaking.”

Good morning, puppy. Why’d you have to make it weird, though?

You tightrope up and down my narrow frame

From my ankle to my collarbone

I don’t know how you balance.

Sometimes, you manage to curl up on my hips

Without hanging a single piece of fur over my edges

But come the morning, you don’t do that

No, you stand on my chest

And study my sleeping expression very closely, your eyes wide, tongue lolling

Until I wake up and it changes

Into fear and shock as I scream

“Oh, my GOD! Oh..hey, puppy…what the fuck?”

Its awkward. This morning came at 4am.

I tell my friends, “you should really get a puppy. It’s worth it.”

Oh, the things I manage to forget.

Versions of reality

What you think: Your dog has a jumping problem. You must not be a very good disciplinarian. 

What I think: Wow, my baby boy is really good at jumping, and he seems to like it. He’s so athletic, I’m so proud of him. I wonder if there’s some sort of puppy olympics I can get him involved with. I bet he’d like it. Note to self….look into….olympics-There! Hey puppy, want some kisses?

A visitor

My hair is clung with sweat to my head

I’m wearing the same dress he last saw me in

And a sick mask like a hospital patient

Or a Chinese citizen

Where the smog is so thick

It’s sometimes hard to see

And all he can say is

“What’s that necklace you’re wearing?”

“It’s the evil eye,” I croak. “I think someone put a curse on me.”

“Oh. Its pretty. Hey, you want me to read you a story?”

This is the kind of man, I think, who notices but then, is careful not to notice.

I like him.