I Miss Somebody Still Alive
and Other Poems

I Miss Somebody Still Alive

I want to know why the ocean is always making believe. I
my stomach churning, pretending I could ever

forget. Some sharp objects in the kitchen: the windows
when they finally breathe apart.

After dinner I listen for insects. I’m still culling
through past languid afternoons:
writing in a blue journal, thinking

somebody might notice. Now I want a child. Somebody to protect
from the papercuts. A dog I can call my own. Days when paintings

become real.

If I told you of the dead animals
who used to follow me home
come nightfall, would you still think me to be the one

who could wade away your hours. I’ve told you
of my paper-worn fingers. The thinness

I always aspired to have

and never could see. I still find myself
weeping even when nothing comes to the radio but static. There’s
to it anymore: you could touch

my breasts and I would sob—with pleasure or with horror, I do not
know the difference.

Death, at points,

has come easily: the girl at camp I wanted
to befriend. Her sister was the one to find her,
the tight rope. I fear raveling; the neon-green walls

of my first apartment; the way flame never ceases
to grow. It’s not death I find strange.

On simpler afternoons I want

the house. The picket fence built to keep the cat from roaming into
the public eye. To keep the days inside. To keep away the trains,
    their departures, their arrivals.

Some Lines Are Best Left Unsaid

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