dear brick and streaked wooden / dear ghostly walk-up / dear burnt-up confessional / dear stacked & sturdy studio
Yesterday, I house hunted for a closet called one bedroom and memorized the view of pigeons scooping out their yawns.
Fifteen years ago, I lost hand-carved flip lighter with built in gasoline pump off drunk roof from drunk fingers forcing it to its death.
Six years ago, a grove with fern and paw prints.
Four years ago, composted meals from seeds stuck together like bodies birthing roots.
Two years ago, an addict and his blood replaced paint and refuge. Dripped his skinny breaths into wallets and extracted. Thirty-seven poems stolen and money from an occurrence better left undeclared.
Twenty years ago, a swimming pool and barbecue and built-in-family before the fracture. A bedroom painted purple where screams suffocated behind hoarded pill bottles and there was blood here too — wiped before it could be unraveled.
Five days ago, I built a callus on my pointer finger from strumming invisible songs. My wrist grew phantoms from the reverberations of rhythm.
Thirty years ago, my words were less ruptured and gender was a word existing decades later in a way that would wind my hair in circulatory patterns & cause my body to feel puzzled and unglued.
Tomorrow, I will twist my ankles like a cursive Q and there may be a teardrop so big and illuminating it resembles a disco ball and yes, it rotates down face and into the first crease it catches.
Right now, all I need is this ink and enough bricks to keep me warm and if closets are big enough to hold my breaths–full-figured and agoraphobic, then I can live here. Amidst the crowd. The graffiti steam. The urine and judgements like chain mail. Window-less views of obstructed earth. I can do this.
dear sun-dried cinder and spikes/ dear brownstone beauty / dear stained glass glare / dear exercise regime of fourth-floor climb / dear new york / dear new jersey / dear borrowed bedrooms/ dear denver / dear nooks where sleep existed beside against and alone / let me know when I am home.
A Callus eh?
Not my first (callus). I’ve got a permanent one on right hand middle finger from ink sticks (pens) and lead infusers (pencils) and all those words and all those words.