“Lying awake again, checking my phone for a message from you.”

Lying awake again,
checking my phone
for a message from you.
The screen too bright
to my sleepless eyes,
anxiety inducing in the dark.

What did I do wrong
to deserve your silence?
Can you not understand
how it tortures me?

Deactivating flight safe mode,
my heart skipping a beat.
What if what if you did
what if you didn’t write?
What does it mean?
Messages from people
other than you, they don’t matter.

I imagine there’s one from you:
it will say
“Sad Panda”
with the Messenger sign next to it.
It will be short.
All your messages are short these days —
but maybe it will come with a heart.

But not tonight.
No messages from you tonight.
I enter Facebook Messenger to be sure,
make sure you haven’t read them yet,
weren’t online,
aren’t actually ignoring me.
It can all be excused
maybe maybe

I don’t enter the other chats
showing new messages.
I wasn’t online for long,
I’m sure they don’t care or see
that I received their messages
but ignored them.
You you’re the one I care about,
and you have not written.
No use calling you again,
I’ve been there I’ve tried that.

A new message arrives.
My heart skips a beat.

It’s not from you.
It’s a WhatsApp, not a Facebook.
It’s a Theresa I don’t know
writing in a new group chat.
But what of you,
where are you,
what are you doing?

I close the phone and tell myself it means nothing nothing
And turn around in bed
and feel the nervousness tingling in my hands
a restless mind
What does it mean
if only you were here
nothing nothing

I fidget around,
massaging my tense shoulders,
turn from side to side,
until I force myself to lie still
to trick my body into falling asleep.

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