Things I Tell Myself When I’m Lonely

I wrapped myself in your absence last night

It holds numbers whose value I cannot speak,

but whose edges scratch my bare shoulders

from the inside

of an otherwise comfortable cloak.


I walked among favored strangers

ruby lipstick bleeding from my chapped lips,

talking to a homeless woman and her dog.

He promised me silver and gold, she said,

clutching at cheap satin batting.

But I don’t need money.

I need someone to hold me like I’m human.


I tried to give her the covering you left me,

for it holds in heat.

But I cannot rid myself of something that is not.

You are as much a feeling of home to me

as my mother making banana smoothies.

You represent the same warmth.


I am always loving you,

trying to convince myself

I can freeze as well as live,

telling myself you probably think I’m crazy.



And yet, I know

that if I were to see you

in a crowded movie theater

and mouth the words “come home,”

while everyone else was distracted

by a high-speed car chase.

you would know exactly what I meant

and your fingers would find the car keys

in your pocket.


And yet, I know

that the values of separateness

holding your heart around me ,

gauze in the breeze,

are merely the beginnings of wings

I can use to teach you to fly.


Author: Anna Beach
Email: annacbeach@gmail.com
Author Bio: Anna Beach is a writer and artist from Columbus, Ohio. She is currently seeking publication for her second novel, an exploration of love, grief and rebuilding. She is the creator of a watercolor deck of intention cards sold at Replenish: the Spa Co-op, where she also teaches periodic intuitive art and meditation workshops. She and photographer Rachel Joy Barehl are putting the final touches on a project entitled ‘Modern Goddess,’ a collection of visual and written re-imaginings of ancient goddess legends featuring local women in the spaces that shape and empower them.  She thinks that you’re probably pretty awesome, that you’re doing the best that you can and that you deserve love from yourself and others.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @annatimeatall


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