Maya Phillips

Poem Ending with a Scene of a Woman Alone 

How can she place him, the absence
of his body (un)framed in the doorway of her apartment,
(un)sunken into the side of her bed where she doesn’t sleep?

The air gathers, puckers around him, or the almost-
him she imagines, the current warm, then cool, then warm
again like the breeze of a turning fan in the summer.

Even now, in his hollowness, in his somewhat-not-quite, still
he fills the room like water in a pitcher. Inside her apartment,
he’s messy, unsure of himself—whatever self

there is of him—spilling everywhere, trying the freshly vacuumed rug,
the mopped hardwood floors, the lavender-scented candle
in its glass votive holder.

She worries about the neighbors: what they’ve made
of their long fights and loud conversations, if they know
what has been changed, what she considers unspeakable—​​