Monthly Archives: September 2011
My apartment is in the basement
of an old row home in Baltimore.
Sometimes it’s really cozy–
brick walls and fake fireplaces,
kitchen in the living room.
Other times it feels like a dungeon–
sunlight-less and fruit flies,
cement under the carpet.
It’s all usually okay,
unless my neighbors sit on the stoop
outside of my only bedroom window
and talk from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
And I really just want to yell out,
Hey! I’m trying to live down here!
we sat on the train backwards
you started laughing, making me laugh,
and I thought I was going to throw up
as the trees rushed by the windows–
back to front.
We’re thousands of miles from where we’re from,
yet I can find nothing foreign about my hands,
my lips on your face.
We’re thousands of miles from what we used to know,
but I’m willing to learn something new,
if I can do it with you.
I cry a lot at night thinking about
other people’s heartaches
and how much better they would feel
if they knew that all these tears
were spilt for them.
My words fall on deaf ears
and my voice just bounces back
off of brick walls.
My voice comes back to haunt me.
These words I threw so easily
at you, can’t find a way
to break into your skull,
the ears you so willingly
closed when you heard me approaching
time after time after time.
What will I be left with,
after you leave me?
Who will I have to care
about whether or not
I make it home at night
or wake up in the morning?
Who will listen to me
when I don’t know what to say.
I have to say, this has become
a repeating topic on those
nights when I lay in bed
at night, when I am trying
to talk to God, trying to
listen to God talk back.
Who will listen if your
ears can’t hear me anymore?
I’m armed with a backpack
full of old notebooks
and a hammer and I’m thinking
about walking and walking
and leaving and leaving
and running back
as fast as I can
before I forget
to remember your face.
I just wanted to get out of the heat
and find a bit of shade to cover my skin,
my skin, which smelled of sun block and gin,
and I never thought my feet could hurt worse
than they did after walking four miles in dirt
to fourth street, your house,
where you were asleep,
lost in hazy dreams
and cotton bed sheets.
I clawed through the window screen
and fell onto the bathroom floor,
hair knotted against my scalp
as I tiptoed to your room and knocked on the door.
You jumped from the noise
and reached out an arm,
like I was just another part
of a new dream that was starting
as I closed my eyes
welcoming an approaching night
and your fingers got tangled
in the folds of my hair
and we exhaled as a pair
who never got their timing right.