Politics of a Breakup Between Friends

I brought a box of your junk

back and laid

old weapons on your doorstep

it’s an armistice

to begin this new chapter

full of treaties and thinly veiled hostilities.

We each sign sallow documents

with our own pens

so much for every touch

we used to share.


Negotiations begin over warm drinks

in a quiet cafe on Main Street

the same place where it ended

and we didn’t cry

as we looked back over the battlefield

we had walked through to the





still. I hope.


Discussions about Friday nights

and mutual friends and

old past-times

it’s time to disentangle ourselves

but when you stand to leave

I still feel knotted up and

ill at ease.


Every street seems to be inscribed with your name

and a memory

and my name is only scattered

somewhere beneath the snow.


I remember when you kissed me last



sometimes it’s so hard to be alone.


We can still laugh and I ask you about your mother

if I get the chance

how’s she doing and how’s your dad?

but it’s a much emptier question now that

you’ve emptied me from your life.


I find the streets look different now and

sometimes I can’t remember what it is

we used to talk about on those long walks

back from my apartment to your house

or how we used to fill the silence

of a summer afternoon.


I started seeing someone else

and it’s been a month since I met you

in the cafe and

it’s been 46 days since

I thought my heart would never be the same

but the guilt

it tingles in my bones

and the shell shock of a different

hand to hold

makes me wish I’d never

met you at all.


There are more things left between us still

to sign and divide

but this time

the mighty pen

lays on the table between us.