After you leave me I clean out the fridge and think about someone else to fuck. Old collapsing peppers, a carton of mold, an order of szechuan beef that tasted of heat and sugar. Someone's out there, someone on whom I can unleash the tired months, the framed Klimt poster, the little midden of shoes in the hallway. The poster is gone. The cheese is pumpkin orange and the texture of paraffin. I pinch off a crumbled little corner and run it over my tongue.
After you leave me I move through the apartment, plucking out everything that marked our life together, photos and jewellery and bus tickets and the expired passport that took you to Europe and back. I put everything in a banker's box, except for a stray pair of dust-covered heels pinned against the back wall of the closet by a broken fax machine. I put those in an actual shoe box. The fax machine I throw into the dumpster. I stand at the dumpster and stare at the anonymous lumps and angles inside the bags other people have thrown in. The fax machine looks out of place on that bed of taut biodegradable plastic, and I wonder who I'll fuck next, when that will happen, whether we'll be in my bed or hers when it happens, or a car, or a hotel. Wherever it is people are fucking these days.
After you leave me I wonder who'll be next, the woman I find and fuck for days until I tell her that I love her, just as the silent moments begin to corrode the stretched surface of sex. She'll stay, bound by the shock and power of the word, until she understands my love more clearly. After you leave I wonder whether you'll be back, and I return the items in the box to their original places throughout the apartment. They wait for you. I drop off the shoes at a thrift store on my way to work.