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?
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
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.
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.
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.