Almost at the half-way point, I’m having mixed feelings. Although I feel a great since of relief as I can now see, safely, the end that is growing clearer in my line of vision. With this, unfortunately comes the weight of his absence. Some days it is almost unbearable. Standing in line at a grocery store, suddenly I think I hear his laugh – clear, real, but never belonging to him. More so when I’m standing by the back door having a smoke at 2AM, my head spins and I think that if I just turn around he’ll be sitting on the couch, relaxed back skimming over something on his iPad, or hunched over engrossed in some hockey replay. Every night ends the same; I turn into empty space. No Kyle, grinning at me before he slowly makes his way to me, hands placed softy on my hips and tells me it’s time for bed. No sound sleep with him beside me, those little sounds he makes when he’s dreaming, fingers moving unconsciously across my thigh. No mornings. Just shadows.

It’s a strange feeling to be willing to give up almost everything for just a moment, a glimpse, one touch. I know it’s only time that stands between us, but goddamn if it doesn’t seem like more on these nights.

When I kiss you in all the folding places
of your body, you make that noise like a dog
dreaming, dreaming of the long runs he makes
in answer to some jolt to his hormones,
running across landfills, running, running
by tips and shorelines from the scent of too much,
but still going with head up and snout
in the air because he loves it all
and has to get away. I have to kiss deeper
and more slowly – your neck, your inner arm,
the neat creases under your toes, the shadow
behind your knee, the white angles of your groin –
until you fall quiet because only then
can I get the damned words to come into my mouth.