this is how thoughts start
and then ten years go by
and you’re still spiraling
like you hadn’t found the answer
but really I just
had to make rent.
that was my first priority

and I think I may be a masochist
which could wait just
keep everything in some sort of order.
focus on the task.
the one thought as I open
the door to the mid-August heat,
89 degrees which is nothing compared to
the south that can swallow you whole
in one boiling breeze and I’m out of
my now near empty row home
that you cleaned almost all the way
out before you left
except the dirty armchair, old couch–
all the furniture found.
all the dishes donated.
everything I left come back,
everything kind of circuitous 

like my anfractuous spine
that stood straight once but
fractured under the weight
of this constant need to materialize
public ovation and actual groceries and
the ability to discern between a happy
thought and an actual hand to hold,
I become the reed reaching deep
but bent,

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