by Abbie DeHaas

Editor's note: 'Ownership' was the fourth piece published in our Morning Breath II series in February 2017. The series also includes 'Craving' by Joseph Cambonga, two poems by Sabrina Sanchez, and 'Wedding Invitation' by Dean Graham.


You forget for a minute

That he isn’t yours.

He never has been.

He’ll notice you for a while,

But when he stops

(They always do)

You’ll remember he wasn’t yours,

And never has been.


“He doesn’t deserve you anyway.”

You don’t deserve him either.

(Who really deserves anyone else?)

He’s just the person

Your eyes chose to watch,

And your mouth chose to taste

But he wasn’t yours,

And never has been.


He said your name today.

Clearly, addressing you

So you could hear him.

Not so he could hear

Himself say your name

(Like you do with his)

Because you aren’t his

And never have been.


And that hot, tense arm shot up

Burning through your stomach,

chest, throat, eyes.

Filling you with red smoke

Like his cigarettes

(He discards those, too)


"He’s not yours!

And never will be."

Thumbnail image by Evelyn Stetzer.