a ghost letter written on the anniversary of my assault

A. Shaikh

to J. C. 


this december 

                        it’s like the big corporations know 

            I am running because 

starbucks names a latte after you. 

                        notes of juniper

                           and sage dusted with

                        pine citrus and sugar.

                           I watch people order you

                        up front. you were never 

that sweet to me but 

I read somewhere taste atrophies with age. 

            it is true

I am no longer eighteen. no longer

            calling you beautiful every time

                        I see you.  today I am older and 

far away from your salt tongue & what

            it licked into me. the mausoleum 

            of my loneliness. so when the

            barista asks meif I would like to 

    try you I do the same thing

            from before,

                        shake my head softly and