Leaving Graham Ave

poetry 0
Stephanie Kaylor

 

To begin a new relationship with an old lover,
is precisely that;

new. How you cannot drink from the same
river. Changing ways. Therapy

and the co-pay. And so on, and so
it goes. But when with an old lover

you go back
to the apartment you have not yet been to.

When the cat makes clear
that you’re a stranger now, hiding

in another room that you do not know
your way around. When you try

to break the silence
that once was never awkward

by looking through the stacks of books,
as if they aren’t the same titles

carried over from before. When you drink
too much. When you get another bottle

to share. When in the morning there is no coffee
from the bodega, no bodega

where they would recognize your smile.
When there are only the other bitter brews

of You can take a shower / The car
is on its way. This too is new, if only

for the houses—have you ever driven by
so many of them? Their every address ripping

from the floorboards of your throat: a this is not
my stop. This is not my stop.

Stephanie Kaylor is Reviews Editor at Glass: A Journal of Poetry and is completing her PhD at UC Santa Barbara. Their work can be found in journals including Four Way Review, The Shore, and Protean Magazine. They live in Brooklyn.