Adding up My Losses

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Am I not afraid of my city, the way people once behaved as one might catch cancer if they came close to me?

Stranger hours bring strangers in the darkness and the night closes down the city.

In the darkness there’s a hiding place for everyone.

In everyone there’s a place where darkness resides.

We reside where the damp air creates webs around street lights.

Where the lights cast only enough to break into the air thick as Texas toast.

I’ll meet you for breakfast at 3 a.m. for toast and coffee.

We’ll watch the steam rise up from our cups of coffee like dew around streetlights.

And you shake the dew from your mackintosh, remove your toque and hang them like a perspective on the coat rack.

Missing you reminds me of the perspective that life and loss walk the same road, though we walk alone.

And you say I’m alone now. You ask me to come back and love you again.

Again I rise to take leave of the loss who walks along the empty road beside me.

“I’m lost,” I tell you, love left so long ago with you.

So long, I say picking up my own coat from my seat in the booth.

I leave you seated there to feel the loneliness and stare out at the emptiness —

As I stared at your ghost long before you ever filled its empty, lonely seat.

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