in Colorado,
his name was Alex.
I am passing 3rd street unaware
of my hands withering,
clutching my phone.
another bad habit of mine,
not wearing gloves and never
placing my hands in my
pocket.


he was very young and
wide eyed and used to doodle
through meetings
watching the layers of people
shift in their seats, gathering
outlines with his pencil.
I would try to peek,
said hi to him only if I passed
him but mostly enjoyed the thrill
of picking a home group full
of freshman in college,
the perversion of me
unfolding like that,
so uninhibited in my quest

for sobriety, spreading my
legs in the chair
in my turtleneck dress and
brown tights.

three children catch me muttering
and smile.      they watch
my fingers curve around an object,
then divide as I tap each tip
with my thumb like
I’m counting.
they are thinking
I have secrets,
not that I am crazy.

one time,
he kept his eyes closed as everyone
in the circle shared.
when it was my turn, he popped
them back open and stared
the length of my story.
I was too confused to make
direct eye contact with him;
this being so flagrant
and sudden, I fluster
with bold advances.
I spent one whole year fantasizing
about him. not lured by his youth
which makes him easy to command
but the way he was clearly taken
by me, his insouciance,
and his right to be that way,
being only eighteen and
forced here.

the children notice my
mouth moving as I walk down the
street, reviewing.
they all think I am writing about
them. I am writing about a cloud
I passed once.
cry cry cry and then
just start fucking laughing,
I say out loud
so the ten year old widens
her eyes
as she passes.

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