Thoughts from Late Summer It’s a bitter feeling, waking up with you lodged in my chest. I choke down everything I’m not saying until the words feel like broken glass in my throat. A year ago, I’d wake up 2,000 miles away and be able to say: “I miss you,” and we both know what it meant. I miss you: I adore you, I want to marry you, I wish you were here, I love you. But today I woke up ten miles away, and I didn’t text you, but if I did it would have said: “I miss you,” meaning I’m lonely, I want to wake up next to someone, I’m not mad anymore, I’m sorry. I think “I miss you” is the placeholder for everything we thought we’d have more time to say. You sat in our coffee shop waiting for me, but I’d be across the country by the time I knew you wanted to meet me. I baked in that parking lot for hours, sweating out Bacardi and tears, and throwing up everything I didn’t say. You said you hated me, and that made it all the more real. What would’ve happened if I told you not to see her that night at the bungalow by the water? Would I leave behind the memory of you saying you’d come home to me after? What would’ve happened if when you cried at my feet, I knelt next to you and said,”yes, baby, I’ll stay?” They say it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. But I lay here, reminiscing on the feeling of your lips on my neck and your hand on my cheek... a feeling I’ve had before and never will again. It’s agony. You cannot miss what you have not felt. I wish I never felt you.