it rained /

when the trees look like thunder paused in time it becomes easier to unclench my fists and dream of streets soaked in rain future people laughing dancing hugging and music spilling from behind every half-open door / it should be so easy to walk up leave and not look back everything’s dying and i’m crying sitting in the traces of my lightning decked date because nothing touches me gently anymore nothing touches me / anymore / please let me leave i will find a little empty corner and not say a word can i not / have one soft thing?

about my old high-school principal

you sell bouquets by the side 
of the road. every morning

i drive past your shop, & angelicas,
hollies, sages, & chrysanthemums 

lay intertwined. if i roll down 
my windows, the sweet

sticky scent wafts 
inside the car & perches 

upon my neck. i breathe
in. drive towards my old

school, praying that the a.c.
won’t wash their perfume off 

my skin. in class: doodle bushy
eyebrow-eyes, munch

upon packets of stolen
chocolates. in these corridors 

of covid-infected hunger,
i survive. stomach eating

itself, fingers failing 
to rise. often, i bring my wrist 

up to my nose. imagine: your
field of oranges, hydrangeas

braided in my hair. because 
of you / there’s a future for me here.  

every apple tastes sweeter / after the fall

there’s comfort in not touching—

disquiet dissonance rattling doors 
locked from within. 
arms reaching through televisions, 
eyes seeking from newspapers: 

every bite tastes sweeter 
when the fruit is stolen. 

i count the dead 
& open my drawer,
carefully sticking coins inside my piggy bank.
being alive comes with a price 
someone else is paying.
when the do-gooders come looking 
for warmth, i’ll break my bank 
name it yours.

everything we touch is meant to die
& everything alive is not ours.