The year will pass and grind itself slowly down to the bone
like the old black cat that rubs against your neighbor’s door post
during the autumn nights when the leaves fall like forgiveness.
You will regret all your tattoos then learn to love them again,
except for the ones inked with the names of people
you could only have sex with in the dark.
The wind will whistle like it wants to forget the first time it tried to kiss
the tops of the trees but swallowed a mouthful of air instead,
and still the eggs in the fridge will rot on the nights
when you are too afraid of your own fingers to sleep.
The house will smell of ash instead of yolk, like the only poem
you could never complete because it was written about
a day that does not exist: a day when you were truly happy.
The fear of not being in love is far greater
than the fear of being loved in return.
This is a mantra that will repeat itself again and again
throughout the course of your life, after you’ve bought the apartment
with only one bedroom and a sink with a leaky faucet.
There will be love letters disguised as suicide notes
hidden between the bedsprings, and you will want to replace
those ugly old tattoos with every signature
at the bottom of a paper someone wanted to send
but was too afraid to even read aloud.