‘Bittermilk’ by Walker Storz


The last time I saw you I had popped a xanax and washed it down with a beer just to be able to talk to you.  It was like speaking through a cloud.  I bummed a cigarette off you even though I had quit, just to prolong our time together.  Things were said–it didn’t feel like anyone was saying them with any intent.  The words were just pieces of dust kicked up accidentally–careless gestures.   I would keep coming back to lick your hand, sideways-glancing like an abused dog.  I hadn’t been abused.  I had no good excuse for being this way!  I sometimes worked hard and cold and imagined I was from the North–that great expanse.  You were from a wealthy suburb in Maryland.  It embarrassed and thrilled me that I knew the median income.  I should have resented you for all of that, for the way you were perfectly positioned to be successful–one parent a professor, the other a corporate something-or-other, but instead I loved you, and trusted you.  Now, in your life, I am a deleted file.  I am a ghost.

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