Soft Silent Refuge

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Arriving from the raucous bar, the restless classroom,
the fluorescent supermarket: I cross the threshold
into the best kind of alone, where I am blissfully
by myself: free to nestle into my soft silent refuge
and re-stack hardback novels and water my fittonia
and my graptoveria, which is reaching towards the sun
with thick greenish purple leaves. Sheltered from
rain, commotion, questions. I curl into myself,
hugging to my chest the warm comfort of solitude
as it expands and recedes like the cotton clouds
morphing into entire cities outside my window.

Thinking about it

I am thinking I might call you up
and propose we spend the night

entwined in a tired sticky pile
as the crickets sing outside

I am thinking I might drive
along the freeway and into the stars

to the night diner where we split
milk and cookies and I won’t feel bad

about an evening of extravagance
and spontaneous kisses

on my cheek, my eyelids, my temple
and sleep-heavy sighs in the dark heat

I am thinking tonight or any night
my heart swells like this with loneliness

8th Grade

Within this pen tumble the old school-days

Of lined notebooks and diet Sprite

Of carpet bleach and vomit

Arranging ourselves alphabetically at the door

 

My blue ink encircled the utter loneliness

That only a thirteen-year-old can understand

From sour and grinding smiles

Shot across the lunch table

 

The cafeteria din smothered my appetite

I brown bagged my self-esteem and tossed it in the trash

Perhaps You Should Consider a Pet (a poem)

Today I played hooky. I wasn’t that sick

but I was sick enough to want to stay home

Pouring cups of lemon ginseng tea with honey into my scratchy throat that feels like anaphylaxis but it’s just the common cold

I read poetry that ignited a need to spread out my thoughts before me like an inventory of all the stones I’d picked up at the beach

 

Today I sat wrapped in layers of blanket and sweatshirt and tried to feel warm

I wasn’t lonely watching the wind rip the yellow leaves off the trees outside

No, today I felt fine, sketched a map of my future on the flipside of a bill I should have paid and mailed last night

 

Today the sun came down on the roof in slices like candy

And walking made me notice the hollowness of my own bones

As if each step sent an echo through my skeleton

I wasn’t lonely but I was alone

 

Today was made for wandering sidewalks and squares

Protected from the cold in soft coats and knit hats

A good day to wander alone and ponder

My therapist’s comment that perhaps I should consider a pet

If I’m so damn lonely