Everyone sees the trays of avô’s biscoitos and
fresh brewed coffee planted like a curse,
unwavering and formidable,
in the center of your granite counter.
Everyone kisses your check as you arrive to cook feast
after feast at St. Anthony’s. Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Peeling, slicing, roasting. Potatoes and pork, bread dragged in by the bag.
Everyone wants the first hug but the last Papo Secos.
Everyone misses afternoons filled with telenovelas
and dozing off in the recliner. They miss the sneaking
around, the refills, and the top offs. When someone finally arrives,
everything is a joke and your cheeks are rosy with escape.
Everyone wants the grandfather clock or the china set
or the dining table when you go. No one sees
that you have given all that you have to offer.
If cracked open, pearls of neglect and surface love will rain for years.
You are at Diegos in Newport sharing
pitchers of margaritas with work friends.
The apartment feels bigger without you and
the dog has to run further down the hall to greet me.
The cat lounges in a closet, peeking out to
ensure no stranger will threaten her third nap.
I eat my takeaway garlic broccoli while
watching telenovelas without subtitles.
Candles flicker dimly, desperately in both
windows dangerously close to the wicks.
I reach for my punch color vibrator and like the
moon, it rises my body like the rides all night –
knowing that at any moment,
you could walk through the door.
Dark grey clouds cloak Bristol in darkness.
Another Thursday…I resign myself to a half-hour commute, staring at two vacant monitors, and typical house-wife errands after the 5PM punch.
I sip coffee from the driver’s seat and press play on Horses.
Courage beats through my peeling speakers.
The sound is less authentic when forced from my iPhone 5S.
Still, this situation allows my lunch to sit in wait on the passenger’s seat and my hefty 10-pound record player leaving divots in the floor of our 3rd story apartment.
I drive north toward Warren and brightness breaks free, alerting my migraine to awaken from its dormant sleep.
Quickly, I fish hot pink plastic sunglasses from my Jansport bag.
A buffer, a safety blanket.
The tides are turning.
A sunset is on the horizon.
Just not mine, just not now.
About Aimee Nicole
Aimee Nicole currently lives in Bristol, Rhode Island. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Roger Williams University and has been published by the Red Booth Review, Psychic Meatloaf, Petrichor Review, Dying Dahlia Review, and Balloons Lit Journal, among others. On the weekends she enjoys staring at her cat.