It had a name once

She sees her reflection
in the television he watches,
in the wine bottle on the table in front of her,
in the glass in her hand.

His words from this morning
echo in her head,
drown out the sound of helmets clashing
and announcers calling plays.

Tears well up in her eyes,
as she imagines what he could be,
how she wants to walk up to him
and wrap her arms around him and smell his neck,
kiss him softly and pretend it will be okay.

She chokes on the words she cannot say,
washes them down with bitter wine
and tells herself that she will not cry,
not again,
not this time,
never again for him will she let herself feel that pain.

And even as the thoughts come to her
the tears begin to fall
and she turns away from him,
wishing that it was that easy,
that she could run from him
and let it all go,
that the tears would wash away what she felt.

He asks for another beer
and calls her by her name, because titles like baby,
sweetie,
darling,
love
never cross his mind
and makes her wonder if those before her had the honor.

She remembers a dream she had,
as she opens him another beer.
She imagines it was his body in the car.
the one she buried in the desert late at night,
and she smiles as she hands him the beer in silence,
his attention on the game being played on the screen.

She knows this is a cycle,
one that he will not break
and she wonders if she is strong enough to,
if her fear of this pain is stronger than her pain of being alone.

Alone…
the word makes her laugh,
because she is never really alone,
except when he is with her.
It is in these moments that she knows what loneliness is
but she doesn’t know any other way.

She drinks her wine,
checks the time on her phone
and wonders if the expiration date has passed,
if she is holding onto nothing.

She remembers their last goodbye,
half-hearted and cold,
just like the one before it,
just like she knows the one coming will be
and she wonders how long ago they actually ended,
how long have they been going through the motions
of being in love and being together.

Tears falling into wine
say that she doesn’t know,
but the wine is almost gone
and a cold bed
and cold heart await her,
when the last drop is done.

She will pretend to sleep,
until his words finally stop replaying in her head
and her hands stop shaking.
She will pretend not to care
like he used to pretend to,
and tomorrow it will be better.

It is always better tomorrow.

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