Your scent spoke French sometimes, or so I liked to believe. In those moments I wasn’t as dumb as I would’ve liked to be.

I responded with red lip service, maybe a comment about Foucault. You pretended to linger with a lukewarm Freudian diagnosis.

No chaser, no caress.

Weeks staggered by in halfhearted beats.

(A poet wouldn’t know what to do with syringes of halted heartbeats.)

I woke up in winter to a cloud of medicinal tea tree oil, the scent of ice water in the face, listless limbs and white noise like a trillion grains of rice sharpened into sickle cells that makes each second of vitality a shot of mint-flavored absinthe.

You woke up in a poem that had a bit too much sunlight and high moon, a pink cloud you didn’t want to be pushed around on in the first place. Even so, you winked at the reminders in the sky, quickly making your way out of the third stanza and back into textbook definition.

It was never French, I say. I don’t understand French anyway.