Angela Lapin: A Haunting

i decided to haunt you
you could take my house
my garden, my flowers,
my tears, my love, my hope,
my safety, my faith, my pets,
my stability, my kitchen, my furniture
my affection, my years, my balance, my bed,
my comfort, my trust
you could take
               but i could stay                 i could stay
in you
in your skin,
 on the nights when you could find noone else
to touch you
the shadows of my fingertips would
raise the goosebumps
from your flesh
 
               i could stay
so that the kitchen would smell
like my recipes and my family
 have echoes of
tenderness and love
so that when you walked in
the memory would slip through

and you would remember crying
just because I was so beautiful
dancing as i cooked

 that feeling could be gone
               now into the dull
crevices of memory
where it would eventually
evaporate into ashes
 
i could stay in the floor
under your feet
where I tripped
down the stairs in
my heartbreak and you helped
me up as I sobbed
because i only knew how
to turn to you for love
when you were the one who
was stealing it
 
i could stay in the bed
where we shared dreams
and disappointments and
the secrets of lovers
where you told me you
loved me and lied to me
about butterflies
crawling in your heart
when they had died so long ago

i will come up into the silence
before sleep often
even when there are other lovers
in your bed
you will remember my body
and smell and the sound of my love
                it is missing now
 
i will stay in all of the spaces you forgot 
to be loved
i will stay
even as I go

*

Angela Lapin is a Latinx queer feminist educator who focuses her writing on memoir, politics, poetry, and heartbreak. She has written for Hip Mama and the now-defunct feminist blog girlistic.com. She lives in Nebraska where she does improv, yoga, and binge watching. 

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