He says to pay the bill when I order. We talk about my soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend over a shared, lukewarm beer. Good soldiers plan for the worst. He asks me if it’s ok for him to miss me. I tell him about the bag I left at her house, my laptop, my medicine. Never eat with the bill unpaid. You may not still be there to pay it. The sheets are sand on our thighs, wrapped and knotted around our stomachs. He knows about my foot in the door of all my past relationships, the small things I leave behind, little keys to let myself back in. He built a truck once with his grandfather, all junk, took three years. When he went to paint it, it was gone. We know we will only ever have this, the dunes of bodies, two feet in two different doors. He knows he is one of many. I tell her I’ll be back to pick up my things, his hands rolling through my hair as I speak on the phone. I tell him yes, it’s ok to miss me. She lights a cigarette, tells me she is not ok with unanswered questions. I make sure to grab everything. I think I feel sand in my hair as I drive home and consider calling, asking if he meant to leave it there. I do not call. He gets the bill with his food.
Jennie Frost is a queer poet from Maryville, TN. They are in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi. Their poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Kudzu, Glass Mountain, Indicia, Stirring, and more. They are a dedicated member of the LGBTQ+ community and a human rights activist focusing on sexual assault prevention.