You canceled

the night before,
"It's out of your way."

But we were already out
I pulled off I5
Where it said lodging
To find strip malls
sad motel

Where they take
an extra cash deposit
and check the room in person
before you leave

we drove to
the restaurant across the street
one of those four lane strips
where everyone drives too fast
a median and no crosswalk
we were tired

you said
your parents
weren't early risers
and you can't yet drive
after the surgery

"I'll pick you up." I said
My daughter wants to get home.

"No. I want to sleep in.
You are closer to home."

It is decided.
I smother protests.

I want to see you
I long for you
I hate feeling vulnerable
you cancel once a week
for the last 6 weeks

"I'll see you Tuesday."
You say Saturday morning

Tuesday you cancel
no explanation
or apology

I cried once
6 weeks ago
or so

you said
I shouldn't be disappointed

I said
It reminded me
of childhood
with alcohol

you said
couples counseling
could pressure wash
the sewers
of my mind

the childhood
with alcohol
made me strong
and secret

only my children
and sister
can read
me when i lock down

i can nearly predict
when you will cancel
every other
like a clock

doctors get to practice
lock down


i've been
in the sewers
of my mind
for years

my poetry
my strength
my creativity
my fire

are in
the sewers

after careful

i am not
going to let

pressure wash
the sewers
of my mind

they are still
to be loved