by Alison Doernberg

I unlock my apartment door and release the day. Scarf untied, boots off, junk mail in the recycling, keys in the bowl designated for the purpose of not misplacing keys. Walking back across the kitchen, my eye catches the two water glasses side by side in the sink and suddenly I am awash in your absence. Just this morning, you were spreading jam on toast and lacing your shoes at the kitchen table while I fastened an earring, half-dressed. And I carried on with my day, and I returned home. Like a story told out of sequence, it is at this moment, standing alone in the dusky golden light, that I feel you enter my life in a perceptible way, as though my center of gravity has shifted.


Alison Doernberg has trouble falling asleep knowing that there are dirty dishes in the sink. Most of the time, anyway.