by Michelle Mishra


there are moments of tranquility; 

when I can look at you, 

the bulges of your cheeks, 

the way your hand smacks against mine,

and think to myself: this is it. this is my happiness. 


and then there are some, 

stacked up between us, 

when your face disappears 

and i see myself, almost not there, 

right at the bottom of a murky surface. 

i can touch the surface and it ripples, 

and sometimes you appear. 

but more often than not, i look into too-familiar eyes 

and see white and gold and blankness. 


sometimes i can feel your hands on my shoulders, 

hear your voice whispering into my ears. 

but there’s something wrong with your words, 

something lost in the pauses between, 

and your hands push me further and further. 


i miss your odd pauses, the absence in your presence. 

i no longer see myself but i see you, 

somewhere above, growing smaller and smaller. 

i think i’d like to see you smile once again.