When I walked back into the house
It was warm in a way I can’t create.
I secretly hoped my neighbors would smell the food cooking
And know I wasn’t eating alone.
Alone people make microwavable meals.
Alone people don’t talk out loud and when they do,
No one but the cats talk back.

My mother knew the answer to the warmth equation.
Some arithmetic of rosemary and sage.
It’s not about the gas bill its more about thyme.
My math was always off when creating the sweet home illusion.
This house doesn’t have a fireplace
I can’t afford the amount of cinnamon candles it takes to mask the truth.
Hers is a denial I can’t muster the energy to create.
Even in a shaking structure she could prepare a snow globe Christmas.

And when I turned the corner to you cooking our spaghetti, 
I wished you would just go home.
We both know where you live and where you don’t.
Even the neighbors know this warmth won’t last all week.