hot chocolate

Photo by Kleigh Balugo

By Ryland McGinniss

i tried so hard to curate myself a foolproof collection of sweaters
ones in different sizes, because you fluctuated in levels of denial
and i think you found peace in the fact that you could treat my identities like try-ons
ones that i convince myself are out of style
for whatever list of guilt tripping reasons you’d compile
and i’m so glad sweaters are kinda warm
cause you made me go stone cold.

stone cold
when you’d go shopping every winter right after our semi-religious thanksgiving dinner
and i would be forced to put different versions of myself on the shelving
because like the fires of hell, your glances burned holes through the racks and made them
too warm.
and now i’m forced to carry your doubts on my back
until i hoped you were cool enough.

but you never were— and you still aren’t.

and this is why i think of you like a cup of hot chocolate
because no matter how hard i try
to exercise patience
i always burn my tongue
just like i burnt all bridges with you.

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