I remember each time I left you. Whose fault was it? You would say mine. I would probably agree. Years later, I long to breathe in the edges of your face. Sometimes I drive along route twenty-five and the bend of the road becomes your body under sheets on autumn nights. I want to take a different way, but my sense of direction is still bad and my GPS is temperamental.
I was only nineteen when we met. You were twenty-five. They said you were too old for me. First love is a syndrome, a disorder. Incurable. We worked together that summer in a chain restaurant until school resumed in September. Late night side work, after shift drinks around the corner with our friends. Afterwards, we would park in front of my parent’s house and make out as the fabric of our uniforms smelled of greasy food and the neighbors turned out their upstairs lights.
You liked the way the trees looked naked. No leaves, no secrets. Empty and vulnerable. You liked me that way, too, although you would deny it. Sometimes, the emptiness inside me would hurt and I’d drink and we’d fight and you’d cry and I’d yell and we’d break up. That’s when you’d call me twenty-three times. And then we’d fall into the bottom of each other’s souls and get lost. You needed to know what I did with the others. Did he bend me over the bed? Was I on top? Twisted foreplay. It made me so wet. Later, I slept while your cum dried inside me.
We hadn’t said it yet. It rained earlier that September day and the rear window of my car misted over. You traced the words in condensation as I got into the car. Except instead of the word “love” you drew a heart. I heart you. I was your life-giving organ, pumping blood into your body. You’d die without me.
I enter your name into the white space on the top of the screen. The picture appears on the left side of the screen, a smiling apparition. I wonder if the pretty woman with her arms around you makes you come twice in thirty minutes. Is her touch the flight of birds in winter? The computer screen is lifeless beneath my finger but you smile back, an invitation lost in the interspace. I’m waiting for it to arrive. It’s September again, and I just want to make it through the month without checking your Facebook page. I can’t go a full day. Once, I didn’t click on your profile picture until right before bed. But then you were fresh in my head as I tried to fall asleep, and I dreamed of you. In the morning, I rip your face from mine only to have it grow back by evening. I tell myself tomorrow I’ll forget you. I won’t drive by your house anymore. I’ll throw out all the pictures of us. I’ll burn September from my brain. Tomorrow.