v u l v a l i c i o u s
I keep trying to erase your name from my datebook, take it all the way out of the lined pages. I forget not to write in pen. You're stuck in there, at least for now. You're part of my November whether you like it or not.
But there are things I can do to make it better. I stop calling for one day, thinking it will last, but end up giving in the next evening. When you aren't home, I wonder who you're out with. She tells me: "at least you're in really good company."
It stops being enough when I walk through your door. When your familiar smell fills up my lungs and turns to ice-nine, hardening my body in little bursts until my lips turn blue and I crack with all the water pressure. In your bathroom, I make myself over into something people want. I listen to the third song from The Changer and the Changed on repeat in my head. She says it's sad and uplifting, that the words and the melody aren't meant to match. I only hear the part about you breathing free and easy. I only feel you sleeping in those soft, warm sheets.
Realization: She's always going to be my standard, the one I love before anybody else.
You'll be a different standard, the first time something ever worked like it was supposed to. Pull the trunk and the light comes on. Bake at 375 until golden brown on top. Turn the key and hear the ignition.
There are others, the ones who taught me to wait for the other shoe to drop, the ones who made it possible for me to fail. But not you. I'm trying to keep you a bright spot.
I'm holding up October, how so many of the days were unseasonably sunny. I'm fast-forwarding to the too-cold of December and praying for snow. I'm getting out of the calendar year, unsure of whether you'll follow me or stay behind.