I went to see him while you were at work. I even had the audacity to think about picking you up after; I got out at just the right time. But I thought better, ignored you walking down the street toward the bus and hurried home, afraid you might smell the sex on my body.

But I wasn’t afraid, really.

Instead, I was lying in my bed still, stuck in a wave of the morning before, swearing I wanted to die and deciding to leave you, a burden of pain rising up off my shoulders before stopping. Descending. Staring blankly at the clock. I wasn’t afraid, driving home. Stopping into a strange and quiet sense of sinking, sinking sinking and the blackness of a flower of myself opening up for me to die. Dead. I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. Dead, I killed myself for you. All I could see were your eyes, black and stark in that bony face and asking me why.

I was dead, and you never knew it. You asked me why I abandoned you, why I killed you and left you to fend for yourself. You never asked me why I killed myself, and laid in your bed for months, feverish, paralyzed, alone. You never asked me why I was always alone when you were always there. You never asked me why I couldn’t make a decision to save my life. What life?

I was wet. I was shaking. You never knew.

Driving home, I was wet between my legs. I was shaking, my foot hard pressed on the gas – my panties in my purse. You never knew. I went to see him while you were at work and had the audacity in my heart to tell you later how I’d gone to see him honey, I saw a friend today and never told you how he put his tongue between my lips in every way, and how I came with him on top of me, hairy, sweaty, and how I was still alone. He didn’t help.

But he distracted. And I died another day away, sinking into our bed with false hope.

I never told you. I never told you these things, and you hated me still. What if I had told you? Would you have hated me as much as you did for the lover I took after you? For the lover I took during you? Would you have crawled off and died and left me alone and not fought me every step of the way?

Would you have ever forgiven me?

I’ve put this away now, and take it out from time to time to rub salt in tired places, curious if I’ll still feel the burn of what I did to you, for me. He didn’t help at all. Curious to see how I couldn’t have known that there had to be a better way out, and amazed at the miracle that I’ve since then remembered how to breathe and to smile and to wonder at all, and to wonder how I could have possibly let myself die.

I went to see him while you were at work; I was pretending it might save us if I could just feel something again. I killed myself one more time before I finally started to live again, the day I told the truth I’M DYING.

But you didn’t listen.

And so you never knew.

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