Photo by Jay Dobkin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Before I walk you to the train, I have to stop
looking at you for the hour preceding this
moment, in which we are late to the train

& you are, therefore, late to your new job, & in this
pre-moment, which begins precisely & immediately
after I bring you a raisin bagel from Absolute Bagels,

which is twelve blocks from your new place,
I am trying to locate myself in relation to this
nine-month build-up. It’s not so much that I’ve cried

sporadically since January with a puzzle piece
or ice cream cone or domino in hand, & it’s not that
your dark brown eyes are a tunnel, that I’d like to stay

underground, hibernate, & come up daffodils,
but that every building in NYC looks the same,
& by building I mean every long sad breath we take,

which are slow as the mud I ran through this
morning while I tried not to think about walking
past your old place, every blue car not your blue car,

plus I am bad with maps, which you remind me of,
which is to say I am lost like a moth in the night
but I see you, the light, & my fluttering is chaotic,

& I want to talk about what leads us to the train,
but instead just I look away
while you straighten your hair—I can smell it,

silently read poems from Not Here, & I want
to be just that, I want your couch to eat me
while I pick at this overripe mango

we bought from the corner yesterday, its juice
running down my chin, my arm, my leg,
its golden light on my white sock untouchable

despite my severe aversion to anything sticky,
& I am silent with you for the first time, silent
& unable to speak of it, unable to say hey

I’m distant because I’m unspeakably sad,
& then suddenly it’s 2:30, it’s 95th and Broadway,
where you leave, where, your voice, again,

your voice again, squeezes my eyes shut
like I want to squeeze citrus into the meal
I want to make you, as if my eyes could ever

really empty, this moment, sour thing,
this song I sing to myself on the plane,
which is really just you saying my name.

Lisa Summe is the author of Say It Hurts (YesYes Books, 2021). She earned a BA and MA in literature at the University of Cincinnati, and an MFA in poetry from Virginia Tech. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bat City Review, Cincinnati Review, Muzzle, Salt Hill, Verse Daily, West Branch, and elsewhere. You can find her in Pittsburgh, PA, on Twitter and Instagram @lisasumme, and at