It wasn’t the nights spent alone
that forced my decision to be made
but the mornings he came home.
In the night, there was silence,
peace, space enough to breathe
deep sighs of relief.
I would stretch my skin across vacant
spaces in the sheets and be grateful
that he was somewhere else that night,
with someone else that night.
It was always the mornings,
when the sun and the children
that darkness was hardest to conceal.
The sunlight erupted behind
the unbolting of deadbolts
and the sudden presence
of their staggering father.
Flecks of light settling
around cereal bowls
and coffee mugs
in the morning.