He Leaves Me

out of breath in the same way

one sprints through a tunnel
trying to catch a train one knows

one’s going to miss, thinking:

was I trying to run away with him
or from him? Ever get the feeling

while sitting in a hotel lobby

your man is going to show
two hours after the last time

he texted saying he was running

late, will be there soon, don’t
go anywhere!–familiar odor

of mouthwash masking vodka

when he leans in for the kiss
almost not waiting for but always

is? Nor do you mention the baby

in a stroller no longer there
wailing harder when her father

reached both arms out to her

in a kind of pantomime, a sadistic
act looking momentarily cute

when he pinched her lips shut.

Timothy Liu's latest book, Don't Go Back To Sleep, is a finalist for this year's Lambda Literary Award. He lives in Manhattan and Woodstock, New York.
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