Don't know if it's wise to say this, but I hated every minute of your absence, the cool deceit of a room in which you were there and not there, your stink on the sheets like the perfume of silence. I hated the empty spaces between your goodbyes and indifferent hellos, the way you never seemed to mind when I wasn't around to notice you were gone, the dying of roses handed to your care by thoughtful hands. How could you, I said every night in the mirror, not hate that you have to brace this teetering of days, that time can run out even for love? And then you return, as if you were not equally broken, as if you were wise enough to finally leave for good, and today you were ready to tell me at last. I hated that.