After the divorce, on the Thursdays when I go to poetry, my drive home takes me by where my children are sleeping. It’s bizarre to me still, driving down this dark road, knowing if I turn right under this street lamp, and keep going, I will pass the house where their heads rest, eyes closed, mouths open, clutching their “Dutchies.” Nothing is quite so foreign as sleeping alone in a quiet house, and waking up in one. Not hearing soft rustling sounds on the baby monitor. No light under Jack’s door.
I avoid these nights. Left alone my thoughts gather like storm clouds. The what-ifs crash against each other like waves. Even when the rest of my night, like tonight, was filled with love, hope, friends, poetry and high energy, alone in the quiet, save the hum of this laptop, the tap of the keys and the furnace coming to life, I’m left feeling cold. Empty. The best parts of me are not here.