Have One on Me

At night, in the long hours
I would take hot
showers, bending my neck
to fit under the European
faucet — using my single
jumbo pack of shampoo
from Monoprix, that itself
counted the days until
home — climbing into
my single cot with
myself, and the cross on
the far wall, and some slap 
of streetlight streaking
across the floor. I laid
on one side, always, 
opposite my heart,
so that I couldn’t feel
the quickened palpitations
that sounded like dying.
In the grey mornings,
the bus snaking its
anxious way into the 
city, past vine-covered
cinderblock and the shopkeepers
in gingham carting out
their chickens, I would
listen to you, and feel 
utterly alone, and 
the opposite, like
fiercely warring
factions at a ceasefire
under the paleness 
of my sternum.

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