When I walk, or
    when I talk, I keep
    hearing phantom footsteps
    or phone calls
    from inside my bag or
    my head. I turn around
    or I draw my phone,
    but I’m always alone.
    I think people are playing tricks
    on me, knowing that
    secretly, I’m afraid of being out of
    with people. Nobody in particular–
    I have no one in mind
    when I hear your footfalls behind
    or your ringtone in my breast pocket.
    Yet they come, and
    I desperately turn around,
    lose my balance
    in expectation
    searching the crowd
    or the absence of the crowd
    the field within a field
    for you, or, truly, anyone I recognize.
    It’s so cold, grey, dead here
    sound resonates down an abandoned hallway
    my footsteps echoing
    slightly out of sync
    making the hairs
    on the back
    of my neck
    stand on end
    until I turn
    and I see
    no one there.
    Phantom vibrations in my front pocket
    let me know I’m still alive
    drifting in and out of awareness
    until I don’t feel your presence
    and know I was imagining things
    my tactile receptors firing on end
    my body swelling with endorphins
    in a room full of people
    making me miss everyone even more.


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