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Remaining Quiet

Man enters train, bottle of

liquor, rags, scruff–

staggering, steady when holding

onto poles, barely there.

He walks up to a old man’s

face, confident,

saying, “One

out of 60. One out of 60.”

He turns

to the next person, a

colored man by the door.

“One out of fucking 60.

On average. One out of

fucking 60.”

He mumbles the ‘N’ word

under his breath

as he moves down the

train.

Everyone hears and remains

quiet.

He continues

as the doors open and

close again, and onto the

next stop.

“One out of 60.

One out of fucking

60.”

We are all stiff,

and aware.

A woman and I exchange

a knowing look.

She sits next

to me, assuring that

there is no room

for anyone else.

“One of out 60,” he says

once more, exiting the train.

All of the connected cars

were packed

with passengers,

looking more like gelatin

than people.

There were more than 60

of us, but the statistic lost

its meaning

once the doors closed.

Feet and Hands

When I see a bench

a gravitational pull

brings me back

to you—

You and when we first

formed our connection,

when I felt my drive and

you brought me to see

the spaces between myself

like my life is

slats of wood.

I realized who I was and

what I can do with words

and my feet and my hands

and I learned to love

those who listen and those

who don’t

as I sat on a bench and

waited for you and waited

for myself to come.

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It was almost made of leather,
but it was brown
and fake,
and it had a certain
smoothness to it.
I couldn’t stop
running my hand across
its cover and spine.
It had a fabric bookmark
in it and the stitching was
visible along the edges
of the front and back.
I think that’s what got me
the most. The stitching.
I held it close to my chest
in the middle of Target,
out in a main path
near the stationary.
Not even in an aisle.
Without looking
at the price,
I looked up
at my boyfriend,
my eyes big and wildly
desperate,
suddenly not knowing how to
to exist without fake, brown
leather and neatly lined
paper with a fabric bookmark
attached.
He said yes
and I felt like I got engaged.
I struggled to let cashier
scan the bar code,
to slip it in the bag,
but I managed.
When I get home I smelled
the pages, flipped through them
and left it in my lap
for a while.
Then shortly after
I added to my jammed
drawer, filled all the way
to the top and the sides
with unused notebooks.

The Way it Begins

Photo credit: quotego.biz

Photo credit: quotego.biz

There is something haunting
about the series of
blank book pages
at the end of a novel.
The pause,
the realization—
Everything ends
the same way it begins.
Without words.

Your Earthworms

Photo credit: flickrhivemind.net

Photo credit: flickrhivemind.net

Focus, focus
on where your feet are.
Press them in the dirt
as deep as you can,
but make sure that
you will be able to step
out of the indents
once you are ready
to move.
Move to where you are
being pushed—

someone is pushing you
forward with all of their force,
and you have to decide
if you are going to let them.

Focus, focus
on how to move your legs,
bending your knees
gets harder
if you can’t see what direction
you are suppose go in.
There are certain degrees
of certainty.

You pound your feet
on the ground,
like you are demanding
something, throwing
a tantrum.
But you are like a seagull
stamping your feet
to trick earthworms
to come to you—
you need someone
to come to you.

You cannot keep
standing there,
wondering when
your next step will be.
You yearn to walk
with someone,
to feel like there is a place
for you to fall into.
A blank space
aches to be held,
to know what it feel like
to be seen.

Fill the space
inside your hands.
Focus—

Focus
your rhythm.
Too fast.
Focus.
Left foot,
Right,
Lift.

remember how long you’ve
been dying to
move.

White knuckles

My hands hurt

from metaphorically

holding onto you,

tightest grip—

knuckles white.

I still see you

when I am alone

at night and

the TV is flashing

from the other room,

muted.

I try to listen

to something other

than the memories

of squeaking swings

of a swing set

we were almost

too big for.

But you are tall

in my shadows

with that white hat

you used to wear,

your long, highlighted

hair getting caught up

in everything you

carried. And

those Abercrombie

smells embedded

in your tank tops and

in the stitches of your

new jeans

follow me in the mall,

in the movies, and

as I sit in my room.

When Blink 182 played

on your iPod

we threw our arms up.

We jumped, swayed,

and grabbed

each other’s hands

until our knuckles

turned white.

Hypnotized and Focused

Photo credit: spoki.tvnet.lv

Photo credit: spoki.tvnet.lv

Writers write about cats

because

when cats are tired

their eyes are

glazed over

and they walk in a trance,

like they are hypnotized

and focused.

Eyes are slits

and they hum

a low, sincere mumble—

too sleepy to know

what they are

happy about.

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