I Don't Know How You Do It

I miss your cigarette breath
Lingering on my neck
And the way your palm
Rested on my knee.

I miss your laugh—
Unexpectedly loud,
Unashamed
Of what others see.

I miss your eyes
Focused on me
As I observed
Friends speaking softly.

You force me to hesitate
And lose my words
And clear my throat
From nerves.

I don’t know how you do it.

—Perth, WA, 1 June 2017