18 Years by Holly Day

When we’re apart, I imagine our love connects us
always, that you know what I’m thinking, that we’re in love
we’re always in love. I think about you all day long,
think about what we’re going to say to each other when you get home
tell the imaginary friends I spend my day with that we
are doing just fine.
When you get home there are two seconds that determine the rest of the evening
dependent on how fast I get upstairs to greet you at the door
if I left my shoes in the hallway, if the dog managed to pull my coat down
if there are toys in the living room. If I don’t get to these things fast enough
the rest of the day is full of darkness. There’s no other word for it.
On these days, my imaginary friends tell me I need to try harder
need to find time to do all of the things that need to be done
to make this a happy home for all of us. Those cords of love I felt
tying us together through the day aren’t imaginary, they’re real, they’re real
I can make this work if I can just find the time.

Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Analog SF, Cardinal Sins, and New Plains Review, and her published books include Music Theory for Dummies and Music Composition for Dummies. She currently teaches classes at The Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, Hugo House in Washington, and The Muse Writers Center in Virginia.