Wednesday, May 17, 2017

the light brightens almost imperceptibly

states of being
charging forward
cacophony of people
history, words, voices
boundaries, limitations
doorways, windows

Stories swirling around me
mom constantly rewrites hers to keep herself safe
I was programmed to be an object
I'm falling apart
A hand on my ribs telling me to soften
Where is the maze? Am I in it?
To rewrite my script, I have to seek out
the source, the code, the core
I have to walk right in to what I've been containing,

There is almost nothing more delicious in my mind
than a warm night wrapping itself around you

When I lived in Richmond, I loved the heat with all of my body
wandering past lush gardens in the dark, on the phone,
or alone
I spent a whole year there, in the Fan district
near Museum Row
walking past the statue of Robert E. Lee
on my way down Monument Avenue to the laundromat

The most amazing coffee I've ever tasted
roasted in a nearly invisible space
across the street from the 7-Eleven

my roommate
was the mother of the person I was dating
She apologized frequently for how her daughter treated me
and I kept her company while this person we both were trying to love
traveled for work, too busy to care about either of us.

There was almost never a need to turn on the lights,
the sunshine poured itself through the ancient scum on the windows
wrapped itself around the moldings,
the towers of stuff owned by this woman
dusty, useless

As time rolled on, I caught the mice and released them back
into a neighbor's garden
and convinced the roaches to be a little less brazen
I unearthed her kitchen sink
and then, eventually
her stove

We began a game of filling up trash bags to take to goodwill
Slowly, we could see the walls again
so we bought paint to put on them

In the slow release, the floor became available for sweeping
and the decades seemed to have piled up in the corners of every room
In my confusion, I sorted through the quarter sized flakes everywhere
trying to figure out where they might be coming from

I realized they were the evidence of the psoriasis that consumed her whole body
Years and puddles of dead skin
shed but not gone

I can't help but suspect, in my secret heart
that they are a clue about feelings,
about her children, her life
a previous husband
the damage he caused
even though he looked the part

eating her up from the inside.

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