I just went to my closet for pajamas,
Stepping over dirty laundry dogs
Breathing in the dark. I reach for a purple sweatshirt,
Foot breaking on a box of crafts.
Even in the dark
My day clouds the room like smoke,
Crowds heavy and sticky into my chest.
I think I hate horror films because
This world and my mind are already a cinema of terror and madness.
I fold the sweatshirt to my chest and exhale.
“I love every fragment of you, just as it is. Every broken frame of mind…I stare it in the face, still fascinated.
I know every heart sliver and lethal thought that ever was.
I grieve the death and madness.
I have worn it in my skin, too.”
I tuck my face into royal folds,
Shoulder slumping against pimpled white wall,
And I drip down it to closet floor,
Tears pooling and face falling
Into dirt speckled carpet and sweaty clothes.
Dad used to own a muscle car.
“A black Pontiac Trans Am Firebird,”
he told me. Those words were legos
built into a boxy body I didn’t understand,
but I sat on the calico living room carpet,
twig legs folded, lip bit, meditating.
Dad bought a broken down Trans Am.
“I’m going to fix it–but never drive it
in the snow,” he said. For months
I spied on him, a wooden doll laminated
by our glowing computer box, one finger dialing the mouse roll,
eyes of glass. Then he’d pace our gravel drive in his cowboy boots.
I used to dangle my naked feet from our splintered porch
and pretend he was there, too, my imaginary friend–
swinging his pointy boots in the yellow tumbleweed wind.
I used to fumble to build a bridge
between us with my lego-words–
but he always hoarded the pieces.
He never fixed the car. A truck towed it
sometime after he didn’t fix his marriage.
Now that I’m grown he calls every few months
to reminisce about the good ol’ days,
but all I can remember
are the things we never built together.