the list


be careful what decisions 
you make
because everything you
do in life is 
-an airbnb host

my skin seems old–
peppered with scars,
pinched and pulled
by anxious, writhing fingers.
instead of dragons and
spaceships dancing through
dressing rooms and future
stages I see faces–
brown eyes that sparkle
and black hair so course
that it fans out in waves from
under a blue baseball cap,
a child’s sweaty hair and
crooked-tooth smile and
sometimes even the way
a body shakes with sobs,
uneven and gasping–
the way a person flees
the room when grief
has seen so much that
others can see no more.

i can see the time flickering
by, dots of rain draining
down a window, speckled
with dark blurs of streetlights
and glints of glow, midnight
shadows–creases of palms,
eyebrows grown together,
someone’s crooked nose, a
white polo shirt, boots that
hiccup on concrete, the clack
of toy lightsabers behind a
community college building,
sitting in an office staring
into a camera, coffee shop
tears and nights under the
stars watching men load
supplies into the Harris
Teeter storeroom.

I remember holding a
warm Starbucks cup,
the smell of new leather
shoes, how it feels to
laugh until you might die
from lack of breathing,
the warmth of confessing
forbidden love, the steeling
of the soul against pain,
the feeling of a cold metal
necklace, the warmth of the
sun in different parts of
the world, panting while
riding a bicycle and hating
the taste of celery, the way
guilt billows like a curtain
restraining itself against
the wind.

my skin and
senses remember and
draw back the lists
of life that I blew away
like dandelion fuzz
and forget a little
every time the
sun comes up


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