1. a dating app
a place for lonely people. to be dragged across the glass.
the way grief drags us. a white streak on the screen.
a studio above a storefront. a long window behind sheer
magenta curtains. a tough black futon. the heat of his hands
on her neck. on her cheek. in the headlights of a passing
car. two silhouettes moving as one. to the bed. made with
navy linen. a solitary flat pillow. the undoing of a metal belt
buckle. euphoric coalescence. another girl’s scrunchie on
the nightstand. a place that feels like love. but isn’t.
2. something that serves to incite or inflame
ignited by a spark. of a topic to be avoided. that mistake he
made and paid for. the one she uses against him in
arguments. he wonders. will she ever let it go. that one
significant ex. who still comes up in conversation. intensely
red. like a knowing. that he’s been keeping secrets.
3. a material to start a fire
burns hot quickly. precious things. polaroids. letters home.
soft tshirts that smell like Dior. dank cardboard boxes. full
of what exactly. things we put away. and move from house
to house. but never open. invaluable trash. you will feel
better. when you actually move on. I want to say to him but
can’t. because there is a boy still living. in a box inside the
closet. how long must we go on like this. in the shadow of
grief. the memory of what once was. will never be again.
hold out your hands. for the ashes of everything we once
cherished. burnt up in a single moment of anger.
Jackie Donaldson writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has been published in The Vehicle, Loud Coffee Press, Across the Margin and others. Connect with Jackie on Instagram and Twitter @jacquiverse.