08/21

in a pastle drawing

i smudge the edges of every door frame.
wipe my hands on my thighs 
& smudge those even larger than before.
a seam warbles into a road.
my brother is sitting in the corner
with his eyes smeared shut.
when i sleep i want to be renewed 
but instead i'm pulled & spread.
the water is washing itself clean.
a bird lost its wings 
to a gust of thumb-pressing wind.
i am searching for the horizon line
my mother drew for us.
i'm finding nothing but more 
mountains to whittle down. 
it hasn't rained but will soon.
all my shirts are covered 
with handprints. my toes 
blur into each other. 
stoplight mixes colors. all the cars
park in the street. an alarm 
streaks into a bird call.
i used to sing aloud to myself
but now i just hum & the humming
slurs my lips. soon i will just
have misshapen teeth & a blur of a tongue. 
what i love about this kind of picture 
is you can't always notice
the mistakes. no one has to know
i forgot to give my father
a pair of shoe laces & forgot
to lock the door but who would enter
a blotched house like this anyway.
i keep a nightlight on
& it spills like in little threads
all across the living room.
each night i try to convince myself
to turn it off-- to let the house
go dark but i don't.
i try to draw some of the corners back.
fix my smeared elbows. give my brother
a smile & two eyebrows.
draw my lips back. a dull pink
in the yellow dim. 
the mirror shows only 
my murky silhouette. i am 
a faint ghost. 

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