i found magazine shreds
in the tall grass field
by the dentist's office
on the first day i moved back
to my parent's house.
it was lightly raining
& the pages stuck to my fingers
as i knelt to pluck them. red truck
rushed past then a parade of black cars.
everyone was carrying a funeral
inside their chest where a bird
used to be. my hair was longer
than i had ever imagined
& i tucked strand behind my ear
over & over. april knew nothing
about me. i peered at the fragments
as i harvested them. did not
try to rationalize the action
as by this point i knew very little
about what my hands wanted.
collected every piece i could
& departed up the hill
on noble street. stole thick coffee
from mom's pot & slipped
into my childhood bedroom still tinged
with previous dusts & fingernails.
i sat on the speckled carpet
to arrange the pieces. there had to be
a picture to be found. afterall,
this was about discovery. about
prying open the old town & finding
a radical face to clutch me.
over & over i wonder: how how how.
downstairs mom watched the news until
the living room felt like an ambulance.
none of us left. we said virus prayers.
the fragments left no conclusions.
one bare leg. one lip. a tan ankle.
maybe the curve of a back then
rain droplets & warped wanting.
i googled the last three letters
of the dismantled title & found
a porn magazine. girls on their knees.
men groveling & begging. a ball gag.
a pink bikini. tired imagine what it meant
for someone to ravage their once-desires.
i prefer to think of them crouched,
like i was, on the side of the road
as cars rush past saying
"no more of this, the world is ending."
i am not sure why i keep them
but it felt wrong to dispose of. maybe
they feel like evidence we are still
alive, maybe i want to be a picture
undone by a man on the side of the road.
want someone to piece me together
& keep me despite my lack of cohesion.
my favorite piece is one of just
a smokey mascaraed eye & slight bridge
of a nose. her face is somewhere.