What Loneliness Does
It brings arms full of astrology books
from the local library, barely making
eye contact with the lady checking you out,
you play with your hair as she tells you the due date.
It’s backing and forthing into rooms
you have nothing in, just to have a purpose.
Well-meant questions asked about seeing friends—
(out with someone new)
and blood pressure rises to new levels.
It’s being an adult many times over,
but waiting for your retired parents —
that have kindly put you up while
“ you figure things out” — to go to bed
so you can head upstairs without any more judgement.
It’s tiring quickly but being unable to sleep,
counting the Ativan through the orange bottle,
wondering if you can go without tonight,
just in case tomorrow’s worse.
It’s no texts at night and none in the morning
and blowing up phones that go in pockets, unanswered.
Jessica Siobhan Frank is a recent graduate of the MFA program at McNeese State University. Her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Ninth Letter (online), Up North Lit, Portage Magazine, and several other publications. She was a 2018 Best of Net Nominee and recently was named a 2020 Unruly Retreat Writer of Residence. Jessica lives and works in Chicagoland, surrounded by teenagers for most of her day.