My Living Room

There is a spot in my living room,

now home to the end of a soft blue couch,

that once was bare.

 

It was there we danced on New Year’s Eve

to a Mariah Carey song

I admitted to you always made me cry,

and by danced I mean

we stuck our socked feet firmly

to the old wooden floor

and swayed like December palm trees,

leaves laced together, rooted but light.

 

It was my favorite dance I’ve ever done.

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Spin Class

The old woman behind me

in Sunday morning spin class

has dozens of gold

bracelets jingling

from her delicate elbows

to her relaxed wrists

which she’s showing off

to the young woman

on the spin bike next to her.

She is half the size

of my right thigh,

not one bit on pace

with the class

reading the newspaper

while pedaling slowly.

The rest of us are

grinding away at our energy;

she just keeps on pedaling.

The Vestibule

His cigarette was sweet,

as the smoke weaved over the rusted

wrought iron fence and slid through

the cracks between the double glass doors,

while I waited for a delivery truck.

The leaves curled over themselves

curling over the welcome mat,

exactly the way it smelled to drink

hot beer in the square in Krakow,

but on a Saturday afternoon in Queens.

Movie Night

It’s summer, and I still live at

home. As we roll and rattle down the

Mass Pike, in a car older than any of its

three passengers 150 miles from my own

suburbia, I watch as the tops of the trees

engulf the sky in the low dusk light

like stagnant black smoke, and I think

about how much bigger the sky looks here.

 

I’m listening to your laughter bounce from

the windshield to the backseat and back

again, and as per usual I don’t know what

you two find so funny but I can say with

absolute certainty all I want is to bottle your

giggles, film you cackling so hard there are

delicate lines of mascara tracing trails down

your cheeks, and to watch you both catch

moonlight between your fingertips forever.

Goodnight

It was there I

almost cried.

Barefoot

in the driveway

as always,

standing on just

my inner

six toes

so I could

kiss you

goodnight

through

the sticky

July air, my

arms wrapped

fully over your

neck, my calves

over-stretched

enough so

that six toes

became four,

then two, and

it was there

that you

told me you

loved me.

Commute

I never

look up

on my walk

to work,

but today I

counted windows,

rolled my

fingertips over

crumbling bricks,

stared down

the scaffolding,

and took just

a moment

for the

cloudless Tuesday

morning sky.

Birkenau, 2017

Ankles loose

on damaged

tracks,

I walked

right out

looking back.

For I was

empowered

and I am

free;

my choice

to leave was

made by

me.

Beacon

For once,
I looked at
the tower
whose lights
had guided me
home
so many times,
as the
bitter wind
tore at
the cuts
on my face,
without
one ounce of
pain or
a single
rouge tear.
Instead,
I fixed my
gaze upon
the very
topmost
light of the
sky-piercing
spiral and
declared
it was over
because
there is
a whole world
out there
beyond
its shine.

Hangover

I’m half-awake
blinking
blurry-eyed at
the ceiling fan
listening to
your breath
as it grows
shallow.
Your knees
are pressed
into my
left hip.
Our heads
keep lazily
rolling
off the mountain
of pillows
falling inwards
tangled
in hair
and charging
cords.
I’m afraid to
wake you.

Lonely

I lay
in bed
that night
counting
slivers of
light painted
across my
bedroom wall,
tears dropping
off the
very end of
my nose,
for my
heart
was
so full
but only
in my mind.