I thought about you whilst I was brushing my teeth – about how you have been gone for almost three weeks.
I notice your absence in my shaking hands and ill-mannered frets. The tears arriving unbidden alongside a dull ache rising from my feet.
I notice your absence in the smiles which feel more real than miraculous – the lines dancing into shape around my eyes. The joy I have made alone instead of relying on the chemical computer you built inside me – made a home for firing synapses that you alone controlled – turning off the lights at night.
I truly thought I would miss you. I thought I would suffer the vertigo of wishing someone here again.
I am still here and you are still there – kept in a drawer alongside other means of healing. Beside the plasters and nurofen because I cannot deny all you did for me
but for the first time in a year, I can taste the autumn air again without it stinging my eyes, and turning my blood lead and my heart heavy.
Photograph & poem: © Kristiana Reed 2019