only two days ago
your hands circled my throat
to toss me on the bed.
still dutiful,
merely dotted with color,
I am on my way
to pick up a bag of cutlery and dishes
for our house from the front porch
of a stranger’s
when I stop to admire the cracks
in the side of the building.
the wall is coral, faded but still
garish, stands out.
it’s brick and

this building has no doors and
one broken window.
each time I run an errand,
these defects catch my eye
and I pay my respects in
photographs.
I’m trying to get my memory back:
      stopping at each one,
trying to remember how the boulders
haunted too      how the ocean felt
on my wasted ankles at dusk when I guzzled
vodka Big Gulps and watched the
white crabs roam the bay.
watched myself dissolve into
the bits of me and can I remember
how the sunset looked draped over both
tide and flatirons,
hold two things at once
without favor?
how it feels to lose several
small countries you claimed.


these overcoats shine brightest
in demise.
painted like a rainbow to distract from
it’s true inability
to keep a home  safe like
the way men have held me:
(invaded)
all claws of resplendent mortar
and cracking at the edges
even with the scrape of thumb.
I snap a picture of the broken
glass pane and the beginning of
the first layer peeling into
white; the
fissure.
I trace my finger
over a chip and watch
it flake onto the
sidewalk.
snap a picture of
that with my boot
in the corner of the frame.
things to remember us
by, and not

the way things
have left me,
for that would be a painting
of a tall, sturdy tree
swathed with blue jays
and their worms
but how I entered them;
with a scraping
curiosity, documenting,
gaping, holding it
to review later,
making meaning
of their rot.

 

“doors (#1)”

 

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