The fridge was buzzing
Something awful in my ear;
The rest of the apartment was eerie,
The silence seeming to bounce
Off the walls now missing
So much for their furniture,
I turned on a 90s RomCom
To drown out the couple
Arguing about dishes upstairs.
I couldn’t help but wonder
Why the fuck are these movies
Always have the heartbroken girl
Shovel Rocky Road into her mouth
While tears dribble down her chin?
The icy brownie bites would remind me
Of the cavity in my back right molar
And your stupid voice would slide
It’s way into my ear “You should
Really schedule that dentists appointment,”
As if you always showed up
To get your teeth polished every
Six months on the dot.
I’d rather toss a few Rollos into my mouth,
Push them to the back left side,
Let them melt just a little bit,
Caramel holding me together.
I turn the volume up to drown out
The voices above getting louder,
Just reminding me I am alone,
Wondering how the girls
In these films always look perfect
When they are crying? I tend to look
Like a clown who got caught
Out in the rainstorm, my balloons
Struck by lightning;
On the screen, the couple,
After each having their own epiphany,
Begin running back to one another,
I turn off the TV;
I have to get used to the silence.
Maggie Bowyer (they/them/theirs) is a poet, essayist, cat parent, and author from North Carolina. They are the author of The Whole Story (Margaret Bowyer, 2020) and When I Bleed: Poems about Endometriosis (2021). They have been featured in Bourgeon Magazine, Detour Ahead, Germ Magazine, Scribe, Written Tales, and more. They were the Editor-in-Chief of The Lariat Newspaper, a quarter-finalist in Brave New Voices 2016, and they were a Marilyn Miller Poet Laureate.