Before you decide
(for Anna K)
Ditzy girls in places like
Starbucks and Wawa tell us
that we look like sisters.
Two brunettes with round faces
must be related.
They don’t know I’m a blonde.
You, with the red flower
tucked behind your ear.
You, who doesn’t say anything
for minutes at a time, when we
walk wide mall hallways at lunch
deciding if we want to eat something
fatty like Sbarro before we dare
to try on clothes.
You wear your scars on the inside.
I forget sometimes that you fight
with grabbing more of those half
filled prescription bottles from
the bathroom or your bag,
and washing every last one down
with a quart of peach liqueur,
a fruity little death plan.
I watch you scan the clothes in
Old Navy and tell me
I’m going to get too fat
to wear these skinny clothes.
It made me feel even more guilty
for calling you a fat ass when
we argued about how I shouldn’t
drink alone and decide to drive home.
I want to hold you hostage here.
I need to tell you to eat that
extra slice after I’ve picked half
of the pepperoni off of it.
I just need you to listen,
to listen to me, to the fucking
silent sobbing when you tell me
that your plane leaves tomorrow.
Nothing moved, nothing changed
The kitchen chair I dragged
into a cramped living room
remains where you left it.
I’ve not piled my mail
or purses in the center
of the cushion, trying to
recreate the indent you left
in it while we played video games.
You left silence in the spaces
between the walls and
arty pictures I hanged
to make myself seem smarter.
I hadn’t played that damned thing
in years, and haven’t since
you went back home to her.
Your clove cigarettes are still
resting on the dusty end table.
I am holding them hostage
until you return.
Taylor Copeland is a Pennsylvania native, now living in Minnesota. Her poems have recently appeared in Up The Staircase, Thick With Conviction, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Drown In My Own Fears and The Metro. She is unashamed of her love of the color pink, consumes large amounts of coffee in multiple varieties and misses her blonde hair.