my hand is smudged
with ink;
marker actually,
I lick my finger tip
and check again,
try to rub it, realize I had
written it in Sharpie
before I stick the tab under my tongue.
this is
a bad habit of

writing to do lists on
my hand
with whatever pen I was holding
so I wouldn’t forget.
I saw the melting
phrase, a faded scrawled “pw”
near my thumb
which meant paperwork.
it was already Saturday.
this is 2018 to keep up.

there is one heart on my left hand
to count the hours between when I took the
dose to now.
everything is obscured by
the fractions
of stories,  I am looking for
something that can
only be found by my favorite
scope of talent:
my eidetic memory,
my propensity to travel
from one section of
the ground to another,
my ability to walk backwards.


the first hour is the hardest.
my stomach sort of lurches
realizing the first wave has already hit
this is acid so it’s harder.
I take half a tab so
my doors won’t melt
but still
I need to get out of a place that is wall to
wall carpet and packed with scribble,
pillows, cat hair, journals,
the air of segregation as
I chain myself to my five mirrors
not to be heard from for a whole year.
I grab eight stones and empty
everything else out of my bookbag.
I bring one water bottle.
I begin to walk with no
sound, letting minutes
weave themselves around my body as
I patiently walk down the
three flights  trying not
to be appalled by how crooked
the building was
or my sore knees or
the temperature of my men;
a reaching tepid.
I ignored the chipping bathtub
just to make it out the door.
I am remembering when I had bed bugs.
there are things I will miss
I think as my skin leaps.

other  things I’m naming:
ways to feel unsettled in transition.
states, or
how to move between things and
home also;  the way the birds landed
on the trees outside my stained-
glass window,
the way the pink light cut through
the room and all the green on my block
in summer which meant
blackbirds, blue jays, cardinals,
plus skateboarders.
my short dresses catching
on the points of fences.
I am opening the door to warmth
and it shreds me.

I spend forty five minutes
sauntering in presence,
pinching the skin of my purlicue.
tedium, ennui
or indifference.
how much space
reverie takes in my brain vs.
What do I want?
a soft nothing
like my jaw opening on
a pillow, feeling the satin
on my thighs and just
gawking at the glitter on my ceiling,
another thing I will miss.

my leisure:
the growth between getting
and having.
people never change.
I am stuck
somewhere on a trail
walking and wanting not endless
provision, but the
allegory made more
by the time
I walk into the graveyard
hoping to see deer,
I am mired deep in belief
that it is a dead sister
I am seeking,
ignoring my real
brother’s name.


I take the Sharpie
out to mark the second hour
at the gate.

“the first wave (grief)”

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