however late

This is the first year I put up tinsel. Sways silver in the draft, sends shimmering shadows into the corners. I had to tape up the corners of my posters, a few fell down today. A grey wet Monday, and no new beginnings to speak of. Soon it will be colder. This is weather to grieve in.

So many years away from home, so many roommates. The same rhythmic breathing when they are there, the same silence when they are gone. The same ripped magazine pages, posters, postcards. The sweatshirts lost in the laundry, stained uniform shirts abandoned at the end of the year, broken mugs and balled-up socks behind the bed. And at home, finding the sweaters thought lost, remembering what skirts were left behind. Nothing is ever all in one place.

Shimmering moonlight and a girl away from home, swaying to the same song over and over again as the night goes on, finishing her algebra and waiting for morning to hear the breath of another body.

I have always waited for them. However late they have been, I know even in my sleep when the roommate is in the room. There comes a point when I realize that it is absurd, that they are not coming home that night, but it is hard to sleep then. Then, I watch the walls and hope they breathe so I can sleep.

I need another body near.

If not, I grieve.

© 2015 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.

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