i’m counting tokens in a
donated tank top and barely
fitting jean shorts, everything about me
awkward and also sort of heavy in
the impassable space between states
I learned to love,
between beds I’ve been thrown on
and various seasons of us;
theorized or touched
whether it’s real or not,
irrelevant to the curve that’s forming
in my back as I hunch over the weight
of things I stuff in my bookbag
that I find on my walks out:
China set, forks, two new mini
skirts, pot holders neatly placed in
cardboard boxes on people’s
front porches and  I am,

crammed with charity,
stretched to my limit
and timorous.
I’m two miles to the El
with enough tokens to get me there
and back and enough money to pay
exactly
one phone bill,

one internet bill,
power and gas but we are still
working the rest out and
I feel drops forming at
the base of my
sweaty and salt-lined,
un-licked neck.
thats’s what I miss most.
the way a man curls behind you.
the way his curtness catches you.
it’s just one breath.

II.

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