Going, Going, Grown

Going, Going, Grown

-Amelia Parenteau

I scraped a dead mouse off our kitchen floor,
petrified, with the dust pan. I’m restoring
my face, patting pores into place, washing
fine hairs down the drain. I am bravest
in solitude, in my dreams, wielding weapons
and words I would never touch in waking
life. I know how to say no. I know how
to say yes. I know how to kiss on the lips
and take out the trash.

I saw a man so burned his eyes were two beads,
asking for money without words, watching an
Orthodox man push a double wide stroller tenderly
down the stairs. My legs cramp when I sit still
for too long. Nervous hush, pulled at the hips
by desire lines, through traffic, down sidewalks,
up stairs. Skinny jean holster, I parade, equipped,
tired, capable, reliable, powerful.

I found a cracked plastic heart in the cemetery
and tried not to (mis)take it for a metaphor
for when we were sitting on a sunny hillside,
laughing about death. I was, I am, I will be,
young and unburdened, confused and trying harder,
memorizing old phone numbers for a past
that will never return. I only threw the mouse away
because dead things smell, the longer you leave them. 
Decomposing, like milk on the backseat floor.

Going, going, grown, is an inventory of early twenties self-awareness. Yet again, the heart and the mind don’t always agree on personal progress. As capable as one might appear maneuvering through the expectations of adulthood, the tides of emotion sweeping through daily life don’t fit so neatly into our personal narratives.
Windows Below

Windows Below

Squeaks

Squeaks