I’m back in touch with my first
boyfriend, John. He’s a tree-doctor
in Laos, and single parent.
Writing to him is unsettling because
it shakes the girl who was there
from her longstanding sleep.
Above the bed in someone’s
guest room, someone had written
fuck you in calligraphy on the ceiling.
Then a long bus ride home alone,
small town to small town.
No two loves the same,
but ever afterward
an absence makes itself known.
Chase Twichell is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New & Selected Poems (Copper Canyon, 2010) and Dog Language (Copper Canyon, 2005). (updated 4/2016)