There is sunshine this morning. It warps the frost on the window, melts frozen feathers into my palm, dampens the folded cuff of my coat. I'm not waiting for anyone.
This morning there is music resonating down the hallway at school. Someone stands in the center of a room to my right, mouth open, dancing with words, smiling only half as wide as me.
There's ink on my wrist, blued from writing late into the night when my bare feet refused to walk in the solitary dark to the cold sink down the hall, wash my hands with frothy soap under endless water.
I wish for a fleeting second I could light a tall candle, sit criss crossed on my bedroom floor, watch the wax tip into the tilting Earth as I suffocate the gap between night and day.
Instead, I press my head down, will myself to burn the memory of the dancing figure
He's there, on the corner. The kind of boy who looks at you like the sun.
But you belong to warm winter rain, the kind that buries people under raincoats and smells waxy, like summer stars. He should know by now, you told him that night, when hands smelled like apples and the sky wouldn't let go of its daylight.
After a while, he'll remember what it's like to have rain as only a friend, grow tired of damp hair and falling asleep to thunderstorms. He'll move to a place like the Atacama, where you have to dig ten feet to find me.
I woke up crying this morning, there was the taste of gun shots in my mouth, the sound of your name stuck between my teeth.
I remember dreaming of your hands last night.
I missed you then, not anymore. I won't let myself.
You had build a wall of chairs to keep out the guns. You were afraid. Not crying.
I've never seen you cry. You look at me like you know what I am with tears on my face.
When I looked down there was blood on my jeans and it wasn't mine.
I guess this is an apology.
I guess I'm sorry I don't miss you. I'm sorry that my dreams are coming true tomorrow. I'm sorry your hands are always cold. I'm sorry thier guns worked. I'm sorry you died trying to save me. I'm sorry it didn't rain for you. I'm sorry I didn't lock the door fast enough.
Write a poem they said, write a poem about the way you wake up, the way the sun is yours at midnight. Write about the small sliver of a soap moon in the corner of the bathtub. The early morning breeze, the open window, his honey lips, the haying field beyond the brook we’re used to calling ours. This is it, the moment we realize we no longer belong only to ourselves. Now, we’re belonging to the steamy stovetop, the old clock, dirty feet, flat tires, homemade ice cream, leaky rain boots, kitchen twine, crumpled letters, beeswax, darned toes, heart patches, hand-drawn maps, warm chocolate, wind-blown linens, winter mud, the city I forget, the hands I never hold, a silent car on a frozen dirt road, finger kissing, apple shining, rock throwing, universe finding, memory collecting, cutting shavings of stolen hair onto the tile floor. The moon is not theirs and neither are we.
Are we leaving soon? Sometimes questions come too frequently. We’re breathing dust like we used to breathe the world, and don’t care either way.
We have our faces pressed to the window and let our noses freeze. There will be another day- I’ll forget again.
He loses his couch on the street to an old lady who doesn’t know how to sit on the edge of the universe, or even where to find such a thing as stars.
He tells her to look up. She looks down.
The corner is an open alleyway, pouring people onto the pavement, dancing in their pajamas, unwillingly waking to an uncontrollable reality, cautious of the crosswalks and not enough because there’s road kill in the winter, and ice, also.
Ideas are like tears, the way we drip them on each other. Thought bad but not quite. Lonely but doesn’t realize it yet.