collect breaths and use as currency

A month ago, there was a break-in. I’ve had break-ins before, but this was different. Instead of my body, it was my apartment. My bedroom. The room in which I slept inside, fucked myself, wrote poems and letters and worked through my nudity. No one was hurt; no one was home. The only thing taken from my room was my computer–the most expensive thing I owned.

Dear computer,

Your keys were slowly rubbing away from my greasy fingertips pressing into your mass of plastic and internal hardrive and memory board and all the other things hidden inside a computer which I do not understand. A stack of post-its stuck to each side, which I wrote notes on and lists and kept track of words that overflowed from my brain. You saw me through three cities: Boulder, Denver, Brooklyn. I took you across the border into Canada. Poem’d on you in Vancouver and Victoria, BC. Pressed photographs into your memory of canoe trip and camping excursions. You grew sick, somehow, and lost your ability to produce 0’s and it’s parenthetical counterpart. I used to search online for a zero, and then cut and paste when I needed one.

One day, I received a letter of ZERO’s from a woman who lives by the ocean and I no longer needed to search.

Computer, when they took you, I began to weep for all the poems I lost. No, there was no back up. The salt flowed when I thought of the photographs I’d never get back. The videos. So many images that I leaned on during times of discreet loneliness.

I have since replaced you, computer. Found most of the poems I thought I had lost, though many will be gone forever. I’ve written new ones. I’ve let go of ever finding you….

I think about desperation. A need for currency. I’ve had that need. Though I’ve never stolen, I have found other ways….perhaps worse…to get that money.

As I write, there is silence. I used to have a song, which played on repeat as I poem’d. I lost that song along with all the rest of my stored music. Perhaps I miss that almost as much as my poems.

So, I gather up more words. More music. More photographs. Store my breaths in wallet like currency and try to use when I purchase fresh greens at the farmer’s market or used books at local shop on Vanderbilt. I force a new relationship with unfamiliar computer, a bit too clean and not as worn as you.

And this change extends into new relationships with people who don’t need outlets or battery charges and do not need to be hidden in sewn case in the back of my closet for fear of theft.

I move on. I move toward. I poem.