When the heart’s gone

I look at her, pouring herself

a cup of coffee on the stony, 

kitchen counter 

with the old, rusty stove

and the unwashed dishes 

in the sink, using her 

favourite black mug with 

a chipped off edge, 

and I don’t like what I see, 

her side-swept hair, the 

locks cascading down her left 

shoulder like a little, obsidian 

waterfall, 

and her murky, grey eyes 

fail to do what they 

once did, 

but I betray myself by 

placing my arm around her 

and muttering sweet nothings, 

my saccharine smile gives me 

away, and my wavering inflexion 

should seal the deal,

but she plays her part as well

as I do, remarking, “You’re in 

a good mood today!” with 

a lopsided grin and a hint 

of sardonicism in her voice, 

it isn’t about money, 

or worship, or fear 

of abandonment, or a need to 

please, we could sleep in 

different bedrooms, 

never touch each other, 

sew our lips with 

with dark threads of silence

and stare at the grainy, 

television screen for days, 

but we’ll still end up walking on 

this ashen, potholed 

cul-de-sac, just like

we once walked

under an arch of cherry blossoms 

augmenting the blush of dawn, 

under rows of flames of the forest

swaying inconsolably 

in the dying reds of dusk, 

and then past ditches and 

ageing, broken brownstones

in the darkness with the moon’s

silvery cadence barely 

guiding us.

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