Nicolette Marshall | Unanswered Questions

I think about you when I ponder unanswered questions. The smell of coconut lingers in my sheets; I’d be lying if I said I washed them. I rest my head where your chest used to be, no amount of polyester can suffice. I read over messages and memorize each word, every mark of punctuation; the dates become farther apart like lavender paint and my distal edge. I hold onto my pillow the way I squeezed your arm when you shut off the lights to let yourself in. I still feel warm air on the brink of my neck, hands in my hair telling me to open my eyes. You used to trace circles on my shoulder like the trips you made back and forth to another pair of tender lips.

I still do not have the answers, but I know you will return. You will find a sense of pride in unclean blankets, saved messages; the lights will not stay on for long. I will watch you leave as I debate walking to Albany in the coldest of weather just to feel something. I was hoping you would fade like the scars on my hips, but you are nothing like the others.



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