You said, “I’ve been lonely in all this time, too”

and it tanked me, thinking of me thinking of myself.

I thought of you covered in lonely time,

hit by enemy marriage, armored children,

improvised explosive parents and worse—

coming in shaky from the time, dripping with time,

tracking dirt and years of lying on the good carpet,

smearing stolen seconds along faucets and in sinks.

You deserve a purple heart for the battles

you’ve avoided on behalf of others,

for keeping the peace that didn’t hold in the end,

for taking the flak of my love

all those years like a selfless soldier.