I can’t eat the food in my fridge anymore. 

We bought it together, so really it’s our food. 

But it doesn’t feel right to eat it since you left. 

And so instead I open the refrigerator and I stare at it for a few seconds.

Then I close the door, and I listen to the rumbling in my stomach.

But the rumbling isn’t so bad, compared to everything else. 

I grabbed my yoga pants out of the drawer before I went to class.

I put them on and I walked into the studio. 

As I sat on my mat I realized with a pang that they were the pants you bought for me. 

I don’t know why I didn’t realize it before; 

You kept them a secret from me for so long.

I always get compliments when I wear them.

“I really like your pants!”

Thanks, my boyfriend … ex-boyfriend, got them for me.

Even the oil I put in my hair smells like you.

I always thought it was funny how you used it too,

But you were growing your hair out and I told you it would help.

After it all, you cut your hair off. 

You told me it was a mistake, that the hairdresser messed up.

Even still, I mourned the loss of all that hard work.  

You told me you had made a mistake too, 

But then you took it all back. 

Even at the end you couldn’t tell me why,

And so I guess I’m stuck wondering. 

And now I’m caught in a place between,

Part-longing, part-anger, part-acceptance.

Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance. 

The food in the fridge started to rot. 

I looked at it everyday and I didn’t do anything about it. 

I could have offered it to my roommates,

But I didn’t want them to eat it either. 

This is wasteful, I thought, ashamed. 

Wasteful, indeed. 

What a waste. 

“Too bad he wasn’t a bad guy,” one of my friends said to me,

“That would’ve made this easier.” 

Too bad he’s everywhere I look.

I go to campus and I feel this overwhelming need to rip my clothes off.

I’m wearing the sweatpants we bought together,

And that sweatshirt you said I looked cute in,

And those boots I showed you.

If I take it all off, maybe I’ll finally be free. 

And so I go home and I do just that.

But I leave on my shirt,

Because it doesn’t remind me of you.

And I need it, one more layer of protection. 

And there I am.

Almost naked. 

But it doesn’t work,

Because you’ve been in this room

And laid on this bed, 

And you live right down the road. 

And so I wrote this poem instead. 

Because I don’t write poetry. 

And if I’m doing something that isn’t a part of me,

Well, then it’s not a part of you either. 

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