dessa bayrock

Today I learned it was you

I am scrolling and scrolling through Reddit,
learning all the ways that strangers learned
their loved ones were fucking other people.
Reddit says I supported him through a meth addiction.
Reddit says I found two strange purses on the counter.
Reddit says I accidentally blocked him in with my car
and he stood outside in the cold until I brought him his boots.

Reddit tells me love is a choice; Reddit says
this is the most important thing you can know about love.
Me, I don't know how much I trust Reddit;
I want to believe we can love each other
even when we choose not to. I want to believe
the dark windows in my neighbourhood are innocent;
I want to believe that no one is fucking anyone.
I spend so much time grieving for strangers
that I don't recognise the scrape of your key in the lock; 
I wake up, afraid, at the sound of the door. 
Is this what it means to choose to love someone? 
Of course, I know you by the time you come to bed; 
I have quieted the terror in my chest. I am falling asleep. 
I love you just this way, behind our own dark windows— 
the weight of your hand on my poor rabbit heart. 


Dessa Bayrock lives in Ottawa with two cats and a variety of succulents. She used to unfold paper for a living at Library and Archives Canada, and is currently a PhD student in English studying literary awards and the production of cultural value. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Maynard, Cotton Xenomorph, and Spy Kids Review, among others. You can find her, or at least more about her, at, or on Twitter at @yodessa.