There was a body on the bed back home.
You scribbled grocery lists on the back of
one hand one morning,
and barely smudged it off by dinner. You learned that
it flinches at the drops of oil on the arms,
a blistered heel, the cuts you get from the glass you broke or
the glass she broke and
a trip to the sea and to the fair
and the bus rides in the evenings. This was your body.
So you laughed them off, sewed badges over each,
and called them celebrations for the polis
in the making.
Later you complained about the lack of progress, but
bleeding is a part of growing up, honey
spoonfed until it isn’t.
Until you discovered that some of your wounds were not from tripping
the lights fantastic to the small sonata that resembles
everything but itself,
and the badges weren’t meant to patch them. In the fervor to survive
other things we rushed to fold the body in half and
carry it out through the cobblestone roads and half-formed
gates, the citizens be damned.
The scars ache and reopen
underneath your sleeves from
time to time. You throw a makeshift nighttime over them,
and in your dreams are
light bulbs over your dinner, time ticking
down to the sound of glass breaking,
signifying your time to run away.
They weep and so do you.
There is a body on the bed in this house,
sitting right up,
its decay trivial and crushing all at the same time,
and resenting the fact that it’s yours,
the scribbles moved from the back of one hand
to the nerves.
Here is a list of things:
Tabs of headache medication, tucked safe
in another city.
The length of your hair, thrown away
in another city.
The need and the impulse dampened after a while. Still
you carried them
to another city.
Mountainside cities, seaside cities. The lack of space.
Take a rain check on the construction.
There is a body on the bed and inbetween
the frivolous throes and falling asleep, you
ask the white blood cells
why they work so hard to keep you alive.