Written by Cameron Calonzo
Edited by Rodlyn Mae-Banting
Dry bitten lips, voice like the sun,
I guess I will always find you under my fingernails.
When I whisper your name, the fearful song
lifts and drapes across the sidewalk, through
the light-starved branches, up, up, but
not away, never away.
There’s your color in that display window.
Opaque. The kind of depth that made you look twice.
There’s your laugh in the breaking tide.
Soft. Above all, lingering.
Perched upon my chest like a sparrow in the
misty eaves, there’s you, you as I know you and
you as I dreamt you and every you in between.
In the kitchen the morning after you, I woke early.
When I was stirring the pot, the oil swirled into
the shape of a heart—though now I think
that blob could hardly be mistaken for
a heart, it was just my eyes—and I
stared at it for so long that it boiled over
and ruined my new shoes. I didn’t care, of course;
I made it for you, I made this for you,
everything I am is for you, whether you want it
I spent my nights dreaming of mirrors,
windows where I’d find you leaning against the frame,
of the gilded trail you’d leave across the cracked wood.
I would trace my thumb against the glass and
imagine it unshattered, whole and
clear; burnished, shining like the light
through the blinds, the weight even and
comforting between my palms.
Outside, I can see the birds nestled in the trees.
I can hear the faint whistle of the breeze through
each blade of grass, the skipping of the leaves
against the pavement. It’s day here, inside.
The lamp does not flicker. Yet still
I yearn for the rays of heat dancing just above
the roof. Still I ache, and I wait, and I
hum to pass the time.