What is there to do here besides loot mother’s pill stash / cover limbs in preservatives and aluminum slashes / memorize the pattern of face expansion and bleach stains on adolescent scalp in framed photographs / watch television for less than ten minutes after realization there is no substance to these moving pictures / eat crackers coated in the aroma of childhood / look through cupboards and count the deer marching in backyard/ & / wonder what part of this exit still exists in you.
stop me if you’ve heard the one about the gender neutral pronoun and the one who got away because that one did not prefer leashes like this one or the time the basement flood like her body on that Wednesday in August or when her lover threw fire against that pile of bones and what they wanted were ashes but all they were left with were doctor’s bills.
On exit 9, one may collect residences like sexually transmitted diseases: a starting place of hope leading toward infection and regret. On your right is the time she almost hung herself with view of geese and donated benches. To your far left, the school she ran away from.
She used to wear dresses; she still cuts her own hair; she is no longer a virgin; she still dreams of death; she has replaced Plath with Bukowksi; she still cheats and hijacks bodies; she hoards secrets and screams; she stopped telling them what her plans are.
What is there to do here besides transcribe the vital signs from one doorway to the next / feed limbs to the ghosts / memorize the way cracks and weight gain allow room for swallowed analyses / memorize mother for signs of openness / eat enough meat to bloat away the aroma of aged vegetarianism / look through self to search out what has changed, shifted, evolved, calmed down / & / wonder what part of this exit still exists.