Here I have found myself on a Saturday,
the rain tiptoeing on this cafe’s deck.
I am sitting inside.
It is cold enough to be wearing a sweater
so I am wearing a sweater
and a pair of neon yellow shorts.
Last night I cocooned myself in the sheets,
the first time in months.
I spent hours there,
in the dark,
breathing softly on top of my pillow,
thinking of how much it took us to get here:
How many rivers we’ve crossed
How goodbye sounds different in every city but always means the same thing
How each skyline makes me gasp in wonder,
How I still don’t know if I belong anywhere at all
I wonder if other people do this leaving thing better
or if I could start calling myself an expert.
I don’t know what it feels like to keep my wallet full
or sauté vegetables without burning them
or wake up next to someone and have them want to stick around for the coffee to brew
but I do believe in the learning of new things.
I believe in correcting bad habits
and keeping my listening ears on
and apologizing not if, but when, I fuck everything up.
I get it wrong so often but I know sometimes I have the ability to get it right.
I am not sure who we all write to when we curl up in these coffee shops and pick out the right color pen,
but I thank you for listening.
Even when it feels like the sky will never take of her shimmering grey dress,
even when I can only drink wine out of coffee cups because they are the only glasses in this apartment,
even when I find the weather too cold on a Saturday because I wore neon yellow shorts when maybe I could have put on pants,
even when I wake up here by myself what a home I have made
I strung Christmas lights and plugged in my keyboard and hung up my dad’s record and called this place my home.
I did that.
I told the Minneapolis skyline I would see her soon and signed a lease without ever seeing behind the door.
The decisions I make are not forever ones.
They are “right now what do you want” ones
The summer was full of suitcase living and cardboard box moving and falling in love with the boy that forgot about me and using my credit card for the smallest cup of coffee they sold and making a couch on the floor out of blankets and spare towels and using all the money I saved up all summer for a bike for the 6 green apples and cliff bars you need for dinner this week and remind myself that I will not die from sweating too much because the heat will break.
Here we are.
The heat broke.
I can sleep with the sheets on.
I can wake up in a home I created that I put the chain on with only me inside.
These calloused hands and dark circled eyelids make for the most important stories, the most special of company to keep.
I am proud of how far we’ve made it, these feet and I.
The summer was too hot.
Autumn has come and greeted me with a kiss on the cheek and a squeeze of the hand and god is it good to see her.
29/31: i may never understand forgiveness and that will never stop you from offering it
Even when I’m convinced my shoes are way too dirty for you to ever let me walk inside this house again
you’ve left the back door unlocked.
You knew I wouldn’t even try the front,
so undeserving of it’s formal entry way.
Leftovers were in the microwave because you knew I would be hungry.
You also knew I would never tell you I was hungry because I never tell anyone I’m hungry even when I’m so hungry.
The porch light stays on well after it has watched the sun stretch herself awake.
I don’t mean to keep crawling up the stairs Ike this.
I don’t mean to keep having to whisper, “forgive me,” through the sheets while dawn is already spilling though the blinds.
I don’t mean to keep not sleeping. I’m never sleeping but you always know when i cant lift these bones up even though I never tell anyone I’m sleepy even when I’m so sleepy.
The last thing I always remember is the kiss at the base of my skull, the arms wrapped around my shoulder blades, the blanket cocooned under my chin, the barely audible, “welcome home, you are home, welcome.”
After a relentless act of undeserved violence, my friend Matt, upon checking out his bruised elbows, his skinned knees, his frayed knuckles peers up at me and says, “You know what the good news is? It heals.”
In the week after you
I picked up my phone 24 times to call,
saw 5 different men with your haircut,
buttoned my top button twice,
spent 2 free margarita tokens (the second being yours) on myself and myself,
stared at your sweatshirt dangling from my doorknob 7 times, 1 for each morning I woke up and happened to land on it when I opened my eyes.
watched 6 movies,
listened to the same song on repeat 3 times through,
ran 31 miles,
worked 45 hours,
received 3 phone numbers,
sweat myself awake in the middle of the night 4 times per sleep.
On the exact 7 day mark
I woke up in someone else’s sheets, threw on his shirt, crept to his bathroom. Splashing
water on my face to try to do some damage control on the day old mascara, I found myself in the mirror.
This city’s saturday is so quiet. Here, in my home, there is a candle lit. A coffee cup with 3 ice cubes, a shot and a half of Jameson curled underneath my knee. I do not have a desk to write at. I do have a pretend couch that looks more like folded blankets on the floor. There is so much about being a writer that makes me so good at knowing exactly what images to assign to loneliness, how to perfectly relate to each different scenario in which it decides to RSVP to, when to name it. It, however, doesn’t make it any easier to escape. It only makes the trench deeper, the walls slicker, and I’m always wearing the wrong shoes for climbing. These have always been better suited for crawling. It is so deep these days. I am playing my piano to create the echo lately. Makes me believe there is someone singing back these melodies. Makes me believe there is someone listening.
the choice. every day. the choosing it. every day.
When receiving an envelope with a new address on it labeled home, I stumbled my way into the closest coffee shop. It had the perfect amount of light blowing through the curtains, an adorable bar encircling the espresso machine, a counter person asking how I was doing today and listening for the answer. The gentleman next to me peeked over my shoulder at the back cover of the book I had uncovered from my bag. He commended me on embarking upon the journey that was this 1000 page adventure. I told him it is quite an experience. Sometimes a difficult one. I am barely through the first half and I feel like it knocks my down too many times. He gentle shut the cover of his own book, swept his glasses off his face, looked me directly in the eyes. “I think you’ll make it.” I am choosing to believe him.
For the past 5 midnights I’ve fallen asleep in a different city than you. I don’t think you’ve ever even seen this place, but here I am and I know this is my new home because my books are spilling out of the boxes and my keyboard is standing up crooked in the corner. It’s a funny thing how you’ve never seen this place yet I can still put you here. At the coffee shop down the street you could order an americano. In the sun-drenched park around the corner you are reading Infinite Jest. You look really good biking down this street. Somehow I found you twisted underneath my sheets.
So I bought new sheets. It’s funny how I can change my whole life, how I can pack up an entire truck, how I can memorize an entirely different zip code and some things still stay exactly the same.
She has so many knots in her hair because we are desperate in our fucking. Maybe desperate is not the right word. Think: necessary. Think: éclat. Think the opposite of mediocre and then continue to think that until you grow bored. She is always digging, I am always grabbing, and there is probably something else missing here. When I think about her past, I think about space and how both of them make no sense to me. They are both so big, and I have never slept in a house that large. I get tired just thinking about starting another poem. I write in my journal I could talk about orgasms all day. It is hard to be happy without beer. I am working on my stereotypes. My favorite sitcoms are the ones with the pretty wives, the heavy husbands who wear uniforms to work. Is anyone else concerned about the space around their cuticles? If marijuana is a gateway drug, then what is a blowjob? It is hard to be happy when the best part of your day is agreeing with the ambivalent weather. I like it when married women don’t look at me. Sturdy beds are never overrated. I’ve wanted to use this line for months: Where did all of the wedding rings come from? If people paid to read my poems, I would pay someone to write me better poems. There is only one woman I want to fuck, and that scares the shit out of me.