local_library How to Get Up Out of Bed in the Morning After He Tells You He’s Leaving

by Molly Wadzeck Kraus

Published in Issue No. 297 ~ February, 2022

pretend you’re on the Q train heading downtown to Brighton Beach

mount the umbrella. unpack the cooler.

when you feel the waves and smell the salt–

open your eyes. blink.


Get on a boat. sail to the nearest land

rearrange the borders 

to form a new geography that suits you

when you read the Welcome To: sign–


take a long-concentrated breath. Exhale.

repeat until your body

can perform this without thought


Talk to the first stranger in sight

offer to buy them a cup of coffee.

let them tell you about their day. 

nod. smile. 

do not indulge in your own melancholy circus.

Leave a generous tip–


Slowly raise your arms above your head.

left first. then right.

Reach. stretch. grasp for a creator’s hands.


Hail a taxi to the nearest bar

turn on the jukebox

entice the nearest patron into a dance


strip off the blankets

let the air wash over your skin.

revel. savor until goosebumps appear.


kiss your dance partner on the cheek. both cheeks.

left first. then right. 

walk out into the rain

ask the nearest child if she’d like to play hide and seek.

when you hear her giggle with delight–


slowly roll over to the one side and put your feet on the bedroom floor.

left first, then right.


run until you leave your breath staggering on a busy intersection 

hop onto a bus.

when the driver says “this is your stop”–


stand. gently and purposefully. don’t cry

show gratitude to your imagination

come to the conclusion that being alone is okay


Repeat as necessary until the pain seeps back into the walls

and these creations are indistinguishable from your ceiling.

smile. left side of mouth first, then right. 

say that your loneliness is the triumph 

and the one who does the leaving also must do the forfeiting.


whisper that you are no quitter.


account_box More About

Molly Wadzeck Kraus is a freelance writer and mother of three. Born and raised in Waco, Texas, she moved to the Finger Lakes region of New York, where she worked in animal rescue and welfare for many years. She writes essays and poems about feminism, mental health, parenting, pop culture, and politics. Her work has appeared in Motherwell Magazine, the Ithaca Journal, and Young Feminists & Allies (chapter of NOW). She is usually late because she stopped to pet a dog.