by Malcolm Carvalho
When you are not here,
I sleep restlessly,
pulling the patchwork quilt of our memories over myself.
I remember what went into making this seam here.
It was you sprawled across me,
your laughter bouncing off these walls,
creating waterfalls flavoured with your scent,
waterfalls I would have loved to carry in my pocket,
so I could never miss you,
on the street,
on my way to work,
or at the airport after you’d shuttled to another city in another country.
Under this quilt,
there’s a half-read book of poems
I read to you the night
when you did not want to sleep
and I wished the sun would never rise
from its bowl.
we would leave behind
parts of ourselves
in the patches of this quilt,
our naked selves,
our inside jokes running off
from the corners of our lips
into the folds of our sheets.
And like clockwork,
every night we’d return,
our tongues forming patterns on each other’s bodies
to mimic the grid on the covers.
As the night went on,
like our fingers,
would fuse into one,
and race forward
like bullet trains speeding together
off the edge of the horizon
to jump into a quiet lake on the other side.
Now you are not here,
and I try to imagine your presence.
that smells like your lips might help.
Should have helped.