is everything splendid borrowed?
you let me read your Rita Dove books
& i didn't write in them
knowing i would have to return
each cracked spine to your shelf.
your room smelled like cactus candle
& brushed teeth. the window laughed
flecks of car tire alley way.
do you miss what you took from me?
i miss miss removing your shirts
from the laundry bag before you got home.
i would wear them like dresses
& then place them back, fumbling
to fold them as they came. last autumn
when i was a made of different
less vibrating molecules
i rented the car i drove to my parent's house.
grey rain spit water constellations
on the wind sheild.
the radio came in clear as a knife.
i plugged my phone in & played
Death Cab for Cutie's Plans from start
to finish. i pretended
the car was mine even though i only had
four days with it. i forget why
i even came home. the drive from
New York to corn field Pennsylvania
dwindled me to nothing but urges.
i wanted to stand in the backyard. i wanted
to walk the dog all the way over
the waning moon. staring at the car
in the gravel driveway, it looked terribly
out of place. all shiny & white &
fresh. the insides smelled translucent.
the headlights cut holes in my father.
i said i missed you when i didn't.
i was only thinking about missing the car
& missing this american gasoline freedom.
in my parent's house, we wear couches down
until their stomachs touch carpet.
i do the same. let my shoes come to pieces.
sand my heart down to a mirror.
i took my brother on a ride
around the block & i considered
car dealerships. all their newness.
i envied all steering wheels.
you were at home toe-deep in
your own private encyclopedias
& maybe sitting by your window. i missed
your ankles. i missed your closet.
tragic ride home. goodbye beautiful life.
the car key like a talisman. you can
come in & out of love with someone several times
just on the same highway. my life still fits
in back seats of cars i don't own.
turned the radio into a boy &
let his voice lie to me. i gave back
your books one by one without telling you.
in the morning, i dropped the car off
& walked home up Jericho Turnpike
that dreary monday. car horns squawked
like tired old birds.