Going, Going, Grown
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.