Our apartment

10 Apr

It’s just us, and sometimes

it smells like fish. The kitchen is so small

that when we cook, our butts touch.

We take our pants off at the door, wonder

if everyone in love does that. We can’t

grow plants, but our tchotchke shelf is a vision.

No place has ever felt so much like my space.

Your voice, guitar, piano, fills all the gaps.

Blurred

9 Apr

We drew arbitrary boundaries: I could

pour out the plastic urinal bottles, but not

dump his dumps out of the commode, plop,

into the toilet, flush. And sex was another story,

neither of us wanted much at all, imagine

the chemo-semen, coursing gleeful, evil. And

we’d go out to dinner, pretend to be normal,

I’d wheel him push him uphill on 84th street,

the hostess fluttering around us, hospitality,

pity, forgetting which was which.

Autopilot

7 Apr

Not thinking much about my actions

for fear of fear, for fear of wasted time.

I’m a child who reaches up, unthinking,

slipping hand into hand of a stranger where he expected a mother to be.

How can I be stagnant but spiraling at the same time?

How can thinking make doing so much harder?

How can it be that the thought

of looking back with laughter later

brings no solace at all,

no relief?

Kitchen Renovations

5 Apr

Thee sisters leaning over three generations 

of kitchenware in boxes,

“That was my mother’s,” 

says my mother,

as we grab for the

egg slicer, carafes,

60s-style mugs and

steamers, muffin tins,

the melon baller,

first come first serve,

kneeling on the tile 

on the laundry room floor. 

Curbs

3 Apr

The most vivid memories are on sidewalks,

New York in summer and Philly in spring,

bus stops, city benches, outside hospitals, rowhomes,

boys with their hands in their pockets,

cell phone conversations, my tears filling the speaker holes,

a premature kiss on the outskirts of the park,

me approaching in a cab, he on the curb,

and of course, ending things forever

on the divider at 87th and Broadway,

glued to the spot afterwards, knowing,

once we parted, we were shattered.

Independence Day

2 Apr

We planned to lose it to each other

on July 4th (my parents were out of town),

and right before he arrived I heard fireworks,

sat on my sister’s bed in the empty house to look out at them,

but my reflection in the window was all I could see.

The anticipation tied my stomach up.

Independence, I thought.

He arrived, acted the gentleman (always),

we tried, it didn’t work, angry, hurt pride,

his parents called and caught him in the lie,

he left, I cried,

realized I’d never slept alone in the house before.

Independence, I thought.

Greener Pastures

1 Apr

Winter is yellow snow

and dog shit, too,

the way it steams up a little patch of snow

to make itself a muddy brown depression.

Even right after snowfall,

a thousand colors, blood and piss are brushstrokes on the white canvas.

Armies of homeless mummified in their sleeping bags on church steps.

Is this that three year itch?

When you know whether your love for New York City is eternal

or just a stimulus binge

fueled by bubble tea and take out.

We’re turning the corner of summer, now,

sticky asscheeks on subway seats,

sweat icicles forming in over-air-conditioned vestibules.

Get me to greener pastures, now.

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