by Anna Donovan

As he says goodbye,
he slices off my mouth
so cleanly,
so bloodless
a sacrifice,
and could he take
some coffee for the road?
he asks.

I ponder with fingers hesitant
to feel for absent lips
if he'd take my old blue thermos
with the shiny glass lining.

I hope it shatters
at the smallest bump on the road
and cuts up his insides
when he takes an absent minded swig.

"You should be flattered,"
reads his uneven note
on my fridge,
"I'll keep you in a moist
earthenware vessel on my night table,
and every night we'll unfurl
beyond thought and closed eyes,
your mouth on mine."

Every week he emails,
cause he says we shall remain friends,
and friends keep in touch,
and friends share what's going on.

And as the parts
of his perfect woman
come together,
the outside becomes still life
and the inside of my mirrorless dwelling
shifts and pivots on the axis memory
of all pleasure lost.

"Why can't you be happy for me?"
he demands in all caps.

Copyright 2024 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.