I look for you the way I always have.
Listen to your voice
sing incantations of my youth,
eager to hear news of your religion
in the cadence mucked in the back of throat.
They lost you in the backyard.
Misplaced your skull,
body deteriorated into earth.
I miss the way you wrap around me.
A feeling thick as a childhood home,
a place where awkward flows a little more free
and body moves in familiarity.
You spoke of it.
I’ve given up on a search for home.
I focus on climbing your tree.
Washing the smell of your cigarettes from my pillows.
Stretching upwards in long clean arcs
hoping you will feel the tops of my out-stretched fingers.
The imprint of you:
a hollow through the center of me,
only cured by the scent of you in my kitchen,
and the radiation of your body as it sits
three feet from mine.
I search for your bones in my garden,
mud caked and brittle,
hopeful there may be a piece of you there:
a shard I can wear on a string
proudly around my neck,
your souvenir on my chest,
and when people ask,
I’ll say it reminds me of home.
“Home” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014).
The past is not fallen leaves;
it is dirt blanketing newly planted seeds.
It is a crack in the window
causing the afternoon sun
to rainbow across my wall
where September’s cold seeps in.
The past is the eye lash fallen on cheek,
a turned up carpet and door with broken deadbolt,
a watch stopped five minutes till three.
Sometimes the past rebounds.
It scratches at door, curls
around fires, lays in my bed.
The past does not haunt me,
I haunt it. A lingering scent,
a familiar hand brushed upon
the small of my back.
In the clarity of reminiscence
I see what I have been looking away from.
It is stark and it is clear.
I must let the past solidify,
shape it into perpetual bricks,
and mend broken windows
until my house can stand.
I am leaving pieces of myself behind,
waiting for others to catch up,
wondering what it is about me
that is so easy to pass by.
“The Past” is previously published in September (2014).
The knives she gave me
are perfect for slicing
strawberries at 10:24 pm
on a Thursday.
Almost too easy,
the way the fruit falls apart.
I miss her then.
Miss her sweetness
on tart tongue,
miss the way she told me
of true love
over and over by
counting my vertebrae
on slick fingers,
ticking off time.
There are too many knives
More than half still wrapped
in cardboard and plastic,
held together with thin rubber bands.
The others stained with the juice
of fruit already sliced.
“Knives” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014).