I almost raked my hands, again, down my throat, searching for the miasma of the college story love poems I almost wrote. I inched myself on the treadmill, ran three miles while my friend
Talked to me in a flurry of alcoves, in daughters gone missing–
How the world was ending –
How there was our fancy friend, and there was us–
And, I pretended not to cry; I just kept running.
There’s a song without the words,
The notes clear but the hollows of the singer in the background, muted in manatee spirals, slow and loafing. And I realize that I want to fill in the blanks; I want to know what the future holds; I want to know if I can talk to my deceased grandmother again, somewhere along the meadow
Of where we land, when we don’t know where we’re going.
I almost panicked about what will be lost,
All the lost moments, the jobs I left, the poems I almost wrote but fluttered asleep
To comedy instead. The pinch near my brain that I hope is fine,
The way there are diagnoses and mad women and bills gone unpaid–
& I read on reddit that means I’m a deadbeat,
& so I contemplate dying my hair lilac,
Hoping I’ll sink in the midnight hours between rushing
& I almost hold myself closer when this happens: when the world spins tighter and tighter to the last note–
And, I don’t know if it’s going to be flat,
Or ruin everything.
Or, hold us steady, wanting to rise to our feet,
Again. Will I end in a standing applause?
Will I end with a monotone note at the end?
Will I end with a familiar chorus
Like the faces of your favorite children
That you hope never ends, but you know the last note
And when it’s coming?
I wait for the ending. I grip my knuckles tighter, hoping it’s a fluke, that the underbelly of ending won’t come for me, and won’t come when I’m standing. Fists clenched, worried
About the goodbyes I wanted to say to you, plain. I wait for the note that could be a middle C; it could be a low base;
It could touch high parts, where the fingers almost leave the ribcage of the piano. The note could bleat openly, hoping it lulls you to sleep.
I don’t want to ruin, don’t want to spoil–
Don’t tell me the note that will stay with me,
The rose that I hold in my hands, as the blood-red petals live longer
Than I do.