Us In Reverse

by Omobola Osamor

I find it under your side of the bed.
I wondered what you wrote; I gave up my search long ago.
We spar, laugh, and share a bottle of wine in my head.
How does the world continue when mine has fallen apart?
How do the stars shine when mine has disappeared?
How can the ground be sturdy when mine has crumbled?
How can my heart still beat when there’s a hole where it used to be?
The sun launches the day,
I wish it was me in your arms.

Dawn peeks through the shutters;
the sweet fragrance of orchids fills the room.
You mumble incoherently in sleep,
the rhythmic thumping of your heart, a song I never want to end.
My limbs are not lead,
and the elephant isn’t on my chest.

Your kiss on my cheek is perfunctory, impersonal;
an appropriation for missing too many dates?
Invalidation of my feelings?
You say I’ve changed; I say you have.
Either way, we are on opposite sides of many angry words.

Clutter of feet, chores, and bills;
two incomes, one and none;
children, parents, siblings,
our bees’ hands are pollen-heavy with obligations.
I see you, you see me.
We’ve got this.

The day starts with dragon-breath-riddled kisses,
hands leaving a trail of fire.
By noon, burgeoning resentment slams doors.
‘I’m sorry,’ turns the lock,
forgiveness comes to stay.

Our eyes collide beneath the disco lights,
The potpourri of Fela’s Water No Get Enemy and the frenzied crowd recedes.
We talk till the sun plays peek-a-boo,
my cheeks hurt from smiling.
A week later, you say I love you,
I say it’s too early for you to know.