This is How We Separate

Photo by Nathan Esguerra
This is How We Separate by Sabriel Parker

In the morning we unzippered, your leg from my leg, your hand from beneath my head, mouth from mouth, cheek from cheek. You unbraided my hair from yours, light from dark. You split each follicle and atom, you was you and me was me. My hair was my hair, your hand was your hand, the freckle on your back belonged to you and you alone. We divided up the fingernails, separated the eyes, counted up the words that spilled out during our night of farewell. You said that taste and surrender were mine. I held them in my hand like white petals. You told me you would find the rest under the sheets and send them in a letter: pressed flowers between paper.

The green couch is mine. The records are yours. You have the lake and I’ll take the drives to the coast. I’ll take my French press, and you can keep the lasagna I made for your twenty-seventh birthday. Here are the breaths I stole from you that time in the canyon. The apartment on D Street I’ll take and you can have Amsterdam. We will split the dishes but you can have the neighbor’s cat. Give me the books, they are murmuring with words you couldn’t hear. I’ll give you October tenth and I’ll hold on to a thousand heartbeats. The boxes are boxed and the words inside them wrapped in the scarf you gave me last winter. I look at the boots by the door, slumped and worn, the rocks we collected on the windowsill. All the little visions of our entanglement, laced with whispers and coffee, touched with brightness and sleep. I’ll leave them with my box of murmurs and filmy, silvery words.

Sabriel Parker is a Utah native and works as a barista in the mountains. Her creative works have appeared in The Rusty Nail, The Canticle, and enormous rooms. Sabriel makes zines, lattés, and sometimes a ruckus.