They’re Only Memories

In the morning I stretch, pour myself
steaming ginger tea and the mist outside
lifts to reveal sugar-dusted peaks.

Last night’s thoughts come slithering
back: his hands press urgently into my spine,
his breath hot on my neck, his fingers
gently tugging the ends of my hair.
It’s more painful in the dark.

Now I turn towards the stove to watch
flames ignite the gas hiss, leaping blue–
knowing it could melt my skin to
send the pain elsewhere.

But I don’t think that way anymore.
I don’t think of him anymore. And tears
certainly don’t slide down my cheeks
at the memory of his earnest gaze
tearing open what I thought
was strength.

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