I'm not good at closing doors quietly.
So much so that my father made a sign to remind me.
in blue magic marker.
It's not that he's trying to stifle me, he's just sleeping.
My mother told me that she had to realign the door frames after I moved out, as they had grown used to my proclivity for slamming.
It is the waiting which
makes people so vaguely uncomfortable.
So much so that
I think we all start to pretend
(as hard as we can)
that we are the only ones.
Or perhaps not the waiting.
But the lack of control it conveys
ushered in like a grey balloon swathed in ugly red wool
and there is nothing I can do except to stare at the ceiling paint
peeling faintly slowly carelessly
to wherever old ceiling paint goes
Because after this layer there is another:
white like bones.
Next is red like candy,
then green like plastic trees,
until after ten inches of blue
you reach stone-cold metal, so ancient and unused to the air
that it might crumble if you sneezed too enthusiastically.
I have shaken you off
like his cold from Thanksgiving
or like summer skin
freckled with "you look beautiful!"s and my weight on your shoulders
among green sheets and purple walls
In a hardware store we felt like a bad couple
such sad and discordant energy among
steel hammers and that perfect bracket
that I couldn't find.
so many shades of home
exist simultaneously in this city
and i feel so lucky to call this corner mine for now.
i'm sure someday i'll be hidden away in the mountains again
or surrounded by thousands of trees so much taller than i
but for now the lights on train are exciting enough.
and inexplicably we jump
into the lake
though it is three in the morning and cold
i feel a young man's giggle on my neck
and turn to find buck teeth
too-broad shoulders for such a giggle
next to him the fog rolls off the water
and covers my chin like it covers the rocks
so i can barely see them
and she trips, tumbling, like she's a step away from an avalanche
pine trees reach up to the moon and down the water
and our laughter
meets in the middle.
"i'm sorry that i sort of fell apart after you left."
i tell him that it's okay, that we all have bad days, and that the delivery can be made tomorrow. i thought i'd made it clear hundreds of times that i am usually the one to fall apart, to scream in the woods, and to sit blankly on the bus until i am home.
this was stream of thought.
i consume black coffee by the steaming mouthful
so i can stay awake long enough to do something useful
i am playing a waiting game with my feelings
but i have never been acquainted with patience
the way i admire so much in the humans who love me best
maybe all we all require is the opposite of what we are
to fill in the space between your fingers
is exactly what you can’t hold onto.
anyway i miss your mouth.