January 5, 2014 and we
have arrived in
North Philadelphia
and the first thing I notice
aren’t the trashbags
lining the blocks or the
Auspicious Coin Laundry Service
sign boxed in blue lights
but the way you don’t
seem to look at
me much
and the way I seem
to blend in with the
tan upholstery of the
passenger seat
even though I am
wearing a red turtleneck,
coughing, asking
if this is where we are
going to live and practicing
K e n s i n g t o n.
mired in the habit
of saying everything I think
to you without
of tapping a finger on
my thigh. of checking
clocks, twisting a plastic
straw in my hand,

sobs building
in my chest;
emergent waves
pounding at the
sternum like
irate knocks


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