“Sorry I never write poems about you” by Mary Paulson

I know I said I loved you in that 
cobalt glow 
from the TV light, 
on the threadbare couch,
in bed (the mattress 
on your floor).
It’s true you didn’t
touch me enough or rub
my back, you never
told me I was
but took my cash 
to pay your rent, 
get your 
hair bleached 
Eminem white. There was

that one time 
you ran me a bubble bath and 
lit me a candle 
out of the summer 
blue. For that, 
maybe I did love you briefly 
but that was 
one time 
in a very long year— 
months in a dirty haze 
of smoke and 
unwashed sheets, 
MTV Cribs turned up 
too loud, an 
aural assault. You 

threatened to leave
and although I was dying 
to be free,
I still begged you, stay— 
never leave me.
Thank you, 
thank God and thank 
Michigan for taking you back. 
I was going through a phase—
a killing myself slowly 
dignity kind of
withdrawal from the world. Call it 
hibernation, fear of
uncertain fortune—
either way, I’m keeping 
your orange shirt.

Mary Paulson’s writing has appeared in Slow Trains, Mainstreet Rag, Painted Bride Quarterly, Nerve Cowboy, Arkana, Thimble Lit Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Metaworker Literary Magazine, Months to Years, Speckled Trout Review, Fleas on the Dog and Chronogram. Her chapbook, Paint the Window Open, was recently published by Kelsay Books. She currently resides in Naples, Florida.