A reminder on how to be in space with others

Take small conscious breaths
Wear a shirt
If it has buttons, be mindful of how many are undone and which
Try not to drink too quickly
If drinking alcohol, this is especially crucial
When sharing a thought or opinion, couch your words in modesty
Others may question your sincerity, which is valid
Avoid asking probing questions
At risk of inciting argument
Or worse, attraction


if i were (on a doomed relationship II)

if i were:

meaner, i could say
“you brought this on yourself”
stronger, it might be
“let’s see if we can work this out”

but, i’m not, so i don’t
and i see how it pains you
that i am not all there
in those moments of intimacy

and, if i were to say:
“i can’t do this”
the expression on your face
would rip at my conscience

already a thing pieced together

so, maybe, in fact
i’m meaner than i thought,
sickeningly strong when
toying with your heart

didn’t I forget?

there was something
seated in the back of my mind as I closed the door
calling, you’re going to forget

I always do this, my ritual

keys, ok
coat, yes
mask, always—

satisfied I turn the key
click and away I hurry out lest I
remember what
I did