Walking hunger paths, not on puddles but on reflections in them,
stroking the disconnect between us as though it were soft to the touch,
I watch, my eyes swelling in emptiness,
and eruptions of holy vulgar wants settle captive, as I answer
in a haiku of politeness that reveals nothing.
You don’t hear the tremble of my breath in my greeting.
I do not touch your heart with any particular sentiment crafted into my words.
My heart I try to quiet.
You sign on, you sign off.
A name in a list.
Where is the force still pulling me to the certainty of what was real?
You give me a caress to imagine, and I fall into false memories.
Where you’ve touched there is still the sting of a happened life
that won’t let me reason my way out of this maze you took me to.
You have never left, yet it is all I know.
There are calmer days when patience is a smile.
Leaves cover Richmond streets in heaps of tired Fall,
I’ve walked here, mindlessly, time and time again,
arranging days into a string of consecutive and reasonable deeds,
but always looking for someone’s eyes to pierce the lull of forgetfulness.
There is dirty snow dragged along the roads of proud Moscow
extravagant in her bright dress damp with exhaust and puddle water on the edges,
trampled by the stressful, spat on by her smokers.
Stores and hospitals. Old soviet factories. Tram tracks in the white.
There is a fur tree my parents planted
growing still, lean and green.
There is the aloe plant blooming where an avalanche has swallowed a city in the sierra.
There is desert breath stirred by the crowding combis in deranged Lima,
all colors muted to grey and hunger.
There is the coffee cup I drank from.
I am looking for piercing eyes.
Most eyes are asleep.
You sign on.
Have you lived more than I have?
Have you yearned less…
Have my hands warmth enough to give a day that’s simple?
Leaves have covered my building. Red and yellow buried the street, made my windows church-like. There is the smell of burning seeping from the houses of the wealthy, where chimneys aren’t clogged with concrete like in the houses rented to college drunkards. Wealthy houses smell of nice whiskey.
The Fall swallowed my street.
You sign off.
Leaves keep falling. Covering, covering everything the street has been. My heart isn’t quiet and my hands are burning.