Once I Was in Love

with all my friends     & sometimes still am     
even though you can’t say that out loud 
except in a karaoke song     at a dive bar on the LES

I hate to swim but love the ocean   
all that artificial       blue for miles    
I miss my mother (who isn’t dead) & always will       

her illegible cursive on my refrigerator door  
when we go shopping       she sits in the fitting room 
while I try on bras & dresses for a wedding

I’m thirty-four & live alone     I don’t know 
the number of any doctor       who will I call in a winter 
without her     I will never pick up the phone

From So Long (Four Way Books, 2023) by Jen Levitt. Copyright © 2023 by Jen Levitt. Used with the permission of the publisher.