is printed with iridescent fish, each facing
a different direction. I bought it for you
at the Portland Goodwill our last semester
in college. Spring break we brought it camping.
I pretended I’d eaten sardines before, pretended
I liked them. I don’t remember what you said
when the condom broke. Probably ‘Oh, shit.’
The next day we drove into town. I took a pill
and another pill and it was over. I couldn’t tell
the difference, could have told my friends
but didn’t, just made lots of dead baby jokes
and went to bed in your dorm room.
You’d put painter’s tape on all the edges.
With the pillowcase, it was like living in
the blueprint of an aquarium. I slept there
the night I smoked Sasha’s weed and you
stayed up for hours rubbing my back, telling
fairytales so I wouldn’t totally lose it.
I slept there the night I tried reading you
Haruki Murakami’s Sleep but fell asleep. I slept
there the night after the day I lost
the bet and had to wear a lampshade on my
head and your professor said ‘Nice hat.’ Later I learned
she owns a lamp in the shape of a woman.
I slept there the night you said ‘I think I’m
falling in love with you,’ igniting a great unendurable
belongingness, like a match in a forest fire.
I burned so long so quiet you must have wondered
if I loved you back. I did, I did, I do.