How To Love Someone Who Isn’t There

Franca Gimenez
Franca Gimenez

Find him in your unwashed sheets.
Rationalize leaving them for three more weeks because you’re convinced you can smell him.
Fall asleep wearing his boxers.
When he texts,
“Do you still have my boxers?”
Say no.
Think about never taking them off.

Do not go outside because the world is not as forgiving
to those who cannot let go.
His apartment is within close proximity and you want to cry seeing the window
The window you looked out.
The window you pressed your sweaty palm against and thought this must be that Nirvana everyone is raving about.
Convince yourself she is there now
pressing skin against that same window.
So do not go there.
Do not even leave your apartment.
Tell your college professor you have the flu and stay in bed.
Stay in your unwashed sheets.
Re-read messages from your ghost and masturbate to the memory
of his celestial body against yours.
Find it difficult to get off because you would rather fuck a ghost
than yourself.

Begin to wonder if he was ever even there at all.
Maybe you always loved a ghost. TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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