Love Poem for My Ex-Husband

by Katie Marya

Katie Marya

Every day we spend together ends
in the past: our bucket full of hair,

my favorite spoons, 100 t-shirts, the bed.
You said of course the days are faster

now than in the past, the bucket fills
with half of them. I count time left though

we’re not sick. You said the days are faster,
we have less of them. This math haunts me.

I count the decades left, we’re lucky.
Your name is a song, a river—there

are less of them now—I saw you first
with a surfboard on the lawn. Your name

is also a cantaloupe, pronounced pay-kiss
and I crawled into you on the lawn with

that surfboard before biting my lips
gently into the cantaloupe, crawling

into a river slow orange sun quiet warm
before biting my lips into your name I float

on for some time, a river slow orange sun
quiet warm toward Atlanta where I float

on your name for some time, seek the control
none of us have in our hometowns. Remember

my panic attacks after William, my childhood
friend, was shot in the parking lot. Panic. Loud.

You always make the bed because I can’t
unsee that gun blasting in the parking lot—

I need the control none of us have because
I can’t unsee the panic. My mother says I’m

like a bullet needing the control no one has,
but you say forget the metaphor, no one’s only

what their mother says. You’re my tribe,
a river, a goddamn cantaloupe, everything

your mother said and I’ll float my lips on you
forever until every day we spend together ends.

Sugar Work

Last updated December 01, 2022