Birthdays Without You Fuck Me Up

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I wake up on the 24th from a dream I’m hooking up with Cole Sprouse.
It’s not my fault, you know,
I’ve been watching a lot of Riverdale lately.

My sleep patterns are irregular. I wake every few hours
like clockwork. 4 am is my favorite. The early risers aren’t
yet up and the night owls have probably just fallen asleep.

4 am, it’s only me.

And 4 am, on the 24th, I’ve turned 25.
With Cole Sprouse sticking his tongue
down my throat.

Not in real life, of course.
Though I’m not sure I’d turn it down.
I’m Team Archie,
like, have you seen KJ Apa?
Shut up, I know he’s 19.
But Cole kisses me in the dream and
I like the way it feels when he presses
his chest against mine.

In the awake hours, there’s been a drought of intimacy.
No mouths or wetness or warm breath
on my neck.

Partly, my own choosing. Okay, all of it.
I haven’t put myself out there in any real way.
Not for a while.
I joke my libido died November 8.
Except it’s not very funny.
Just me, the nauseating news,
my mechanical hands,
trying
trying
trying

to no avail.

I remember when sex used to be so good.
When I wanted it and him and it and him
like Lionel Richie,
all night long.

SORRY, that was bad.

Now I dream about people touching me
because when I wake up, it doesn’t seem
like a good idea anymore.

It’s been seven months
and I’m wondering if I can make it to a year.

Not a bet I want to win against myself.

Another birthday without you
texting me, “Happy birthday, Honey Bear.”

And I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.
Other than what I always do.

Continue.
Keep going.

It’s not so glamorous when I say it like that.
Neither is missing you.
After all these years.
After all this time.

No one has a body quite like yours. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ari Eastman

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

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