The Righting Reflex by Piper Daniels

You like to remind me of a poem I wrote for you, something about fucking in a car on a crowded street, something we did that was supposed to be amazing but was revealed to be a sham by how hollow it sounded in the poem and by the way you opened like a wound and poured into the evening instead of remaining detached. I would break your heart over and over: it seemed obvious to me. So when you were repeatedly blindsided by it, I began to question your intelligence, going so far as to convince myself you deserved to be mangled. I said I loved you. I realize now how wrong this was, working my systems of give and take that you couldn’t seem to navigate, never mind win. But I’m comforted remembering, on the rare occasions I slept over, how your cats cuddled up to me. At the time, I was mystified. Why did they act as though we were so familiar? Gradually I understood that your apartment was a revolving door, that your cats had ceased to be wary of strangers and now cared only for warmth.