it’s been in *here* all along

Pay no mind to the dripping roots, which dangle from each limb. I’ve been dug up but I have some time left to search for a stretch of earth to replant myself in.

A beautiful woman named Audrey serves me a fresh-baked spiced muffin and cafe au lait. Tells me spirituality is everywhere. Calls me fire. Tells me that the poet in me is a fighter. I will give you a book, she says. And I’ll mark the spaces that you’ll want to read twice. This book will take a year to read. Maybe longer. Come back, she said. (As though she sensed my inner EXIT sign).

Young red-haired boy named Rainer asks me for my autograph at a secluded island where poets gather. In turn, I ask him for his. We curve the alphabet into each other’s notebooks and admire the spread of our names like a slow leak.

For several days in a row, the moon drips out of sky and saunters toward me. Tells me that monsters exist in hallways and dreams and some look like three-legged creatures and others masquerade as housemates. I house the moon’s glow within my pupils and between my fingers. I find that home is no longer attached to an address, rather housed inside my hips and the drips of my mind.

Human out yonder calls out to me through the wind. Curls their language into mine and we create long-distance music together. Another home: inside watchtower as we watch each other breathe through moments of remembering.

But if you leave, remember to leave a note. Remember that the poems on your flesh are not enough to explain all this. All along, these mailboxes and square footage have all been distractors. The real residence lays on your tongue. With each spoken word. With each admittance of pain or panic or promise or please.