Water the plants. Call your mom. Check the mail. Write Erika a letter. Do not check to see if he’s called you. Take a walk around the park. Look at flights to cities he never set foot in. Do not allow your finger to tap out his name as you make a rhythm of checking your phone again and again and again. Buy groceries. Make yourself dinner. Do not berate yourself when, without thinking, you make enough for two. Do not use the extra food as an excuse to dine with his ghost. Put on the smooth jazz radio station and resist the urge to let your hands rest in the still-remembered areas he once occupied. Dance alone, not with the air. Quit telling yourself it still smells like him. Stale coffee and secondhand smoke were always your scents, not his. Mouth “goodbye” so many times that it becomes muscle memory. Take a bath. Blow dry your hair. Towel off his memory. Climb into bed and read poetry. Leave him in-between the pages. Leave him hanging off the last sentence of the last poem’s last stanza. Leave him, you deserve a good night’s sleep tonight.
To-Do List | Lora Mathis