That pile of dirty clothes on the floor
You never bothered to move,
Getting home with a story to tell
But no one to tell it to,
Cooking a meal for one,
And still leaving half – for who?
Remembering to lock the door before bed,
Because now I’m the last to walk through.
Always, it’s the littlest things
Reminding me to miss you.
That couples who live together
For a while
Start to share a microbiome,
That so many of the little pieces
Can be matched up.
Well we’ve been living in and out
Of each other’s pockets
For a while.
The flowers in my mind
Have all grown in your direction,
They cannot be swayed by bad weather,
They reach for you when I wake.
And here is where you will find me –
A cluster of all the little pieces
Threaded through your being,
Our molecules interlocking tighter than our fingers do
Every time we have to say goodnight.
I was raised on life support.
I was taught
To paint silence onto my lips
And close my eyes to find a place unseen,
Never held up
Restrained on the edge of never-knowing.
Growing up on life support
You were always above, counting time
Sliding the planets on a string.
Even on slow burn, excess is poison.
Something lies beneath the skin of the mirror –
A promise that I will trip over all these tracks that you lay down,
Where punitive light leaves the bone exposed.
Time to breathe
Without you blowing air into my mouth,
Time to speak
Without your words falling out,
Time to find my feet
And learn to fall.
We were only echoes
In the dark,
But my mind has wrapped itself so many times
Around thoughts of you
That they have all turned to pearls.
You were throwaway words
In a getaway car,
But my heart has woven itself
Into a cage for your thoughts
And without them to fill it, I’m falling apart.
Coal into diamonds
Sand to a pearl
We are taught that to be pure
You must bow your head under the weight of the world,
But I would rather be raw
Than a polished product
Of another’s design.
I would rather be alive
Than fossil fuel.
I will always knock on walls
I will fight with all of the grains of me,
Not to harden in the wrong way.
We were holding you up, like a shell to our ears
Only hearing the whisperings of an echo of an unreachable thing.
We are all made of something
Easy to mistake sugar, for salt, for grit
Forcing ourselves to dissolve into
You tried, I know you tried
A few times
To slow the sting in the ends of your nerves,
But refined sugar will burn up fast or it will drown;
You didn’t choose to be insoluble in a world of water,
And knitted vessels unravel fast when chased with fire.
Maybe needles make it easier to see yourself through the fog,
Maybe chemicals make it easier to breathe in foreign atmosphere.
You could not pluck at scattered sparks like the rest of us, without going up in smoke.
You could not mix into solution and just be.
You always return
To testing a thought like the empty grave of a tooth,
To see if it’s still soft.
But the thought will never heal if you keep prodding it like that.