I’ve stayed up too late again
my eyes caress and scan
the inhuman glow of the computer screen
searching for a spark
of human connection
around this 21st century hearthfire
without purpose or reason
the evening hours stretch
into double digits
and shrink back into singles

I suddenly realize I’m lonely

You left your signs everywhere
In the kitchen
crumpled napkin lies on the breakfast table
coffee pot dries in the dish rack
meticulously washed
better than I would have done
I didn’t even know it disassembled like that
In the bathroom
our toothbrushes spoon
in their white porcelain bed
I smile as I turn on the shower because
it’s in gentle pulse mode
and only you leave it like that

Before we met
my loneliness
was a child in a horror film
a deformed demon ghost girl
with a traumatic history
whose long, wet hair
draped over her soggy, crooked body
her clutching hands
stabbing out at the hapless
like grasping twisted tree branches
lunging out from the dark

Now my loneliness is a river
flowing gently musical
sunlight glinting lyrical
calm and constant
clean and content
But happier when you play guitar and sing
on my banks in the morning
when you stroll leisurely
around my bends at noon
read books aloud
by my side in the afternoon
and gleefully frolic in my waters
at night

In the bedroom
two flannel sheets
rest quiet atop each other
like the folds of my intimate skin
leaving no trace of absence
no wrinkle or pocket
no sign of lack

But you’ve left signs everywhere
and both my flesh and this bed
feel hollow and echo
without your warming skin

So I turn up the heat
and sleep
lonely again.

© S. Rinderle, 2014

4 thoughts on “Loneliness

  1. Beautiful. I love the image of the spooning toothbrushes, the sheets lying on top of each other, the exploration of the fact that loneliness is a constant companion, it simply changes character with circumstances. The simplicity of something beautiful to miss is so heart-warming and hopeful.

    • Thanks Nance! You’re right about loneliness, indeed. It’s the fear of/resistance to loneliness that I think is more corrosive than the actual loneliness. I appreciate your reflective feedback and my own heart warms to know my poem landed on you the way it intended.

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