I left in winter, ice clinging to my eyelashes,
slammed the car door and drove to a cheap motel.
I left my guitar behind, came back the next evening
stayed the night, stayed again, stayed again.
I left in the spring, when the tulips were blooming
I remember the stems ripped, flowerbed trampled
from all my clothes and books thrown on the lawn.
I drove down to the co-op that night, stayed the week.
Paid them four dollars and a vegan curry.
I left again in summer, took the cat,
stayed at a friend’s house with murals
on the walls. I covered our walls in bright colors
when I came back, spent a paycheck on decor
thinking maybe I just needed to feel more settled.
I left in the fall right after Halloween.
Packed while you were at work, took the cat,
the paintings, the toaster but not the blender.
I left a pregnancy test on the bathroom sink;
you never called about it. I never went back again.
Syd Shaw studied poetry at Northwestern University. She is currently Assistant Poetry Editor at Passengers Journal. She has previously been published in Snapdragon Journal, Waxing & Waning, Eclectica Magazine, Panoply Zine, and The London Reader among others. Syd is Assistant Poetry Editor for Passengers Journal. Her passions include tarot, guitar, and aerial silks.