70 Degrees


Loud silence,

painfully closed eyes,

teeth exposed and gritted

like a baboon.

The way my mother responds

to striking her head on the corner of a cabinet

or the bottom of a table

gives me immense anxiety.

As if I know something bad will happen

one day

without me to observe it.

As a child

that anxiety sampling

what it’s like to leave home.

A woman I used to love

will make a child of her own

and it will pay attention

to minute characteristics

that I have admittedly forgotten

and in joy or anxiety take note

even that not written down

is monumental.

I am not scared of quiet

or what can pass as quiet now,

air conditioner hum

train tracks distant

yet present.

I am scared of alone.

If my toes strike table legs

between first and second

in that soft spot of flesh,

who will write a poem about my

hopping madly on one foot?

only a poem that says 70 degrees

and every line



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