WHITNEY is my girlfriend, my wife, my lover, my enemy, my sparring partner, a disease, the cure, one part fantasy, one part nightmare, one part I can’t quite put my finger on, a piece of mirror, the end, the middle, my first true fuck-up, my bed, my addiction, my drill sergeant, my therapist, my mother, my doctor, my Achilles’ heel, my heart on my sleeve, as dangerous as a staph infection, me, gone, always here, as busy as Jesus, as bored as God, the one you never met, a slut, forever, a puppet and I’m pulling the strings, my last resort, trying to save me.

WHITNEY is my failure to realize what I had, making me dinner, coming home less, home, damaged goods, broken, a genius, crying, drunk—again, anti-smoking, pro-choice, pro-drugs, the last thing I see before I close my eyes, never honest, illuminated like bones in an x-ray, a shattered window, bullet residue, making my teeth yellow, making my hair fall out, fixed, never going to do what she wants either.

WHITNEY is a reality television show, jealous, oblivious, rotting from the inside out, not real, an urban legend, rarely seen, under-exposed, over-qualified, disappearing on a regular basis, shy, flippant, taking her issues out on me.

WHITNEY is so beautiful I’d like to use her as mouthwash.

WHITNEY is hostile, not to be trusted, a decaying photo album, two-sided like aluminum foil, dissolving under my tongue.

WHITNEY is dying, honest, empty, sacred, battered, stagnant, stolen goods, what I wish for every time I’m forced to make one, an executioner, my provider, tying one on, a bitch who deserves whatever she gets, constantly faking falling out windows, buying alcohol for minors, experiencing symptoms consistent with clinical depression, sterile, waking up on the wrong side of the bed, fucking, represented.

WHITNEY is trying to get out from under my shadow, irrelevant, not worth my time, never going to pay taxes, lost at night, with child, having an abortion, painting the same painting every day and destroying it every night.

WHITNEY is an addict, the one who helps women, bi-sexual, trying hard to look like she’s not trying hard, huffing, snorting, shooting, smacking, a fan of technology, a proponent, my enemy, the only person I’ll ever love, my old lady, raw like an impacted wisdom tooth, the apocalypse, turning my stomach, blind, deaf, modern, honest, a virus.

WHITNEY is on a mission, never going to quit, already there, my map, the shit that you spit out at the dentist’s office, a booster shot, waiting for something better, on the train, speaking Spanish, polished, smoking again, my foundation, the cause of all my problems, traveling, coming down, calm, relaxed, a burning sensation.

WHITNEY is waiting for the results.

WHITNEY is in a mess of trouble, bringing me along for the ride, on notice, being taken apart by the media, using my phone, caring for her cat, out on lunch, wrong, perfect for me, last in line, the proud owner, watching TV again.

WHITNEY is afraid of change, paying me back, collecting quarters for the wash, a cold sore that I can’t stop tonguing, poisonous, not available at the moment, getting a lot of hype, the monster in my bed, trendy, kind, funny, peaceful, dangerous to your health, an abandoned building, a wrecking ball, in laymen’s terms, on her own now, best unspoken, a curse word, beaming with pride, first, last, dominating my every thought, hard to miss.

WHITNEY is like shooting something that can’t shoot back.

WHITNEY is convincing me to stick the knife in my own back now, every irritating sound, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a snake in the grass, the unknown soldier, the dark horse candidate, perfect, homeless, fragile, traveling thirty thousand feet above the ground, a terrorist, thinking out loud, a canister of lye, Chinese mustard, a burn ward, stalking me, unable to let go.

WHITNEY is the glass dust in an eight-ball.

WHITNEY is trouble, an unattended candle, contagious, boiling over, not answering her phone, trying to get over the hump, getting with the program, taking life one disaster at a time, at the end of her rope, trying too hard, looking for the answer, an open book, getting over it, getting better, suicidal, stuck in her ways, fighting the clock, saving up, clamping down, shutting the door, opening her mind, making do, doing her best, fighting, breathing, cursing, healing.

WHITNEY is the last to arrive, the first to leave, holding an ice pick to my throat, achy, asking me for the truth, hoping the tide will turn, the biggest ego in the room, reaching, insisting on me committing to something.

WHITNEY is anything you want her to be.

WHITNEY is a woman, drunk, a legend, a nobody, attempting to break several world records, a surgeon, the greatest thing I’ll never have again, conscious, bruising, tired, throwing elbows, leaving, going, gone, a cruel mistress, debatable, the best of the worst, the first in her family, someone I’ll never forget, getting my life on track, volunteering at a children’s hospital, willing to accept your donation, licensed to carry a concealed weapon, a registered voter, not in her office.

WHITNEY is killing me like sleep apnea and codeine, looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, dripping sweat, hoping one day I get it right, the best I’ve ever had in bed, not fit to be a mother, a product of her environment, impossible, watching the weather channel again, sitting in front of the TV for hours, wearing all white these days.

WHITNEY is leaving—again, pressure-tested, staying in line, keeping up with the Jones’, in vogue, helpless, slow to start, begging for forgiveness, looking at other men now.

WHITNEY is showing a lack of foresight, pushing her luck, sending me pictures of other men’s cocks in her mouth, laughing, losing her teeth and she doesn’t care, losing her mind.

WHITNEY is blowing in the wind, in tatters, up for grabs, picking at her nails, scabbing over, alive—barely, beating down my door, calling me at odd hours, asking if I’ve gotten better.

WHITNEY is my best friend, and I can’t hate her, no matter how hard I try, and for that, I’ll never forgive myself, or her.