At the gym, they told me I would not die,
I would only get sexier, and I believed them.

I spent my nights wondering if this was going to turn
into something long-term, if this was what is meant by casual,

or if this was just my annual catastrophic disappointment
because if it wasn’ t, then I would have to brace

myself. I took my medication and looked at pictures
of people who were not in love with me. I deleted

their names from my cache, said hello to my cat
over the phone, took more medication. Days

passed. I learned it’ s hard to measure your own increasing
sexiness. I enlisted bystanders. I passed mirrors

and pretended they were not mirrors, but clean
windows, and I was not myself, I was

a clean stranger. Some days I was sure
she wanted to come home with me, and

I had to let her down easy, through the window,
like a priest. Once I’ d been unleashed

from thoughts of my own death I was free
to be loved in the way I always knew I’ d deserved:

reciprocally, in Fiji, our bodies lithe and bronzed
like gods, but at the same time I felt like a vampire,

and none of my friends could relate. They were jealous
of my book deal, my time spent at the ashram

while they were here, suffering another winter,
their unsexiness a flourescent sign that blinks all night.