Everyone's ex-girlfriend keeps showing up.
She surfaces when I've only just relaxed,
when I let things be
soft. I recognize her because I've been her so well.
You have nothing to worry about,
he says. Why would I want someone
who tried so hard to hurt me?
And then the distracted look.
She used to scream at everyone,
was the first to walk out.
had sex with their good friends
during a phase.
Everyone's ex-girlfriend is always
meeting everyone late at night.
Busy girl. He says
Maybe I'll stop by after
and then calls from home.
I say Did you have a good time
and he says We've really grown apart.
But I can picture the tall bar stools.
You look great, they might
say to each other, shiny eyes. You always were
like that. Some things never change.
It's snowing! The snow is in their hair.
When he says It was wild to see someone
after so long, I hear Our skin was so cold.
I don't know who I am right now.
I feel like I haven't felt anything in a long time.
Alright, he says to her,
You're giving me a hard-on.
Really, she murmurs. She is so mean.
Her drink splashes around in her glass.
Touch it, he says.
-- Sarah Heller