If you ever find pictures of me under the bed of your new lover

Kimberly Wolf

please know that you aren’t the first to feel this

I have also loved those with women hidden in shoeboxes

little shrines to a person who wasn’t me

but if stood side by side could be mistaken for my sister

in another life

I find the pictures and have a fit


I scream and I make ultimatums

I throw his things out onto the lawn

despite it being his home I sleep in

but this is the reality of the situation

I ignored it

let her secret eyes bore holes into my back while I lay in his bed

made space for her

could feel her breath

warm on my neck

and almost understood why he couldn’t throw the photos out

when he left

I acted like I didn’t know why he wasn’t happy

bore that weight

of a hollow love

in which I was good

and quiet

and still not her

so believe me when I say I know the cold sickness spreading through your gut

when one morning you stand in his kitchen holding the letters you found under the sink

that he never sent me


please listen

don’t spend one second asking yourself if your hands are smaller than mine

pack your things

make sure the gas tank is full

burn the letters for me

and burn his bed for us both

drive to a rest stop six hours away

and spend the afternoon memorizing your own face

tracing your laugh lines

and then

Sweet Stranger

forget my name

Kimberly Wolf is a bipolar mom living in Texas. She enjoys driving fifteen hours to eat a peach on a mountain and fighting for tenants’ rights. You can find more of her poetry in Nymphs and Trampset.

© Variant Literature Inc 2021