The bartender who always pours our whiskey
is at this coffee shop
and he’s staring at me across the room.
I’ve always wondered what he thinks of us,
what every stranger thinks of us,
all the baristas and movie theater ticket-takers.
Sometimes I think I would trade
what I know for what they see—
the woman at the bookstore
who lets us read to her son,
the waitress who hands you the check,
the man on the street who calls us a beautiful couple
before he asks us for money.
You mumble I’m tired all the time
and I say Of what
and you don’t answer, just
burrow your face between my breasts
and fall asleep there like a child.
Tonight we’ll drift off without fucking
then make up for it in the morning
and I’ll be hungover from you all day,
running my hands across my stomach,
smiling lazily at the mirror, imagining you at work—
pouring beers, mixing drinks, wiping down tables,
not thinking of me at all.
When I came here, it was just a city.
And then you were on everything,
the bus stop marquee, the bar stools, the sidewalks.
When you leave, I’ll have to relearn it all—
the theaters playing movies I’ll never see,
newspapers that are just newspapers,
all the street signs leading to a stranger’s house
where your stray hairs
are still caught in the carpet.