​When you leave me on read
I gift you the all-seeing eye, rose quartz and balsa,
and stick it in your back pocket. I go joyriding in a hurricane,

slippers sliding on rain-slick pedals. You toothmark my shins,
callous my fingers for gripping the handlebars too tight.

I shop for sensible shoes at the local DSW, alone.
You wrap the city in smog and bruise the sky on my way back.

I turn your favorite book into erasure poetry,
but then buy another copy. I conjure the night

you facetimed me, drunk, a pixie on your arm.
So much for summer. I pack a suitcase of sundresses

and take the Amtrak to a small town. I hike the Tivoli,
pick at daisies, pretend you’re the pollen

on my fingertips. We paint the hills ochre. I eat dinner
with a stranger as you stream through the open window,

contagious; making apparitions of everything you touch:
the linoleum, his lemonade, my tilapia and broccoli.

I stay at old hotels and you sativa me to sleep. I type endings
into my phone again and again and never send them.

I sink the sharp edges of your conquests into my skin
and cauterize the wounds. I kiss a shaggy brunette

in a shadowed corner of the cloisters,
and I call you when I get home. 

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Zoe Antoine-Paul
Photo by siebeckdotcom on Pixabay                                                                                                              
Zoe Antoine-Paul is originally from the island of Saint Lucia, but now resides in Brooklyn. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in F(r)iction MagazineScapegoat Review, and Funicular Magazine. When she isn't writing, Zoe can be found crunching numbers in Midtown.​

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