The Return Trip

The last time I was this hungover with my mother

was on the train ride back from that new years I spent

chasing around the city with Paul, the one I talk about

enough that it should be my last memory of him,

even though it isn’t. She asks how I’ve been doing.

I tell her that I’m tired, and she knows that I am lying,

the same way I did then, even though I’m not.

She does not bring it up again.

She asks me about the weekend.

There are hundreds of things I think to say

and don’t. How I watched a shotgun sweep the room

and later drank until the barrel blurred.

How I walked across uptown with a girl I want to miss but don’t.

How there is a letter from my father that has been collecting dust,

because I’m too terrified to respond.

Instead, I mention the trains.

As if I’ve moved at all.