Sun, 02/21/2016 - 17:12 -- ducreff

green apple tiles are leaving

a red check pattern on my calves,

on the sides of my thighs.


it’s two in the morning

and the smell of cleaning fluid

from when Deb cleaned the dorm

bathroom should have faded long ago,

but it’s still

fresh in my nostrils, and

fresh in my throat, and

fresh in the toilet basin, and


i’m a hundred and fifty miles away

and she can’t help me.


a white opaque grocery bag

is thanking her a hundred times

but the words are backwards from the inside.


it’s just after school

and she’s crouched on the floor

of her bedroom, with her father

in the dining room, and she’s

trying to stop breathing, but

she can’t. she lifts the bag

every few minutes and cold air comes in

and hot tears come out and


she’s a hundred and fifty miles away

and i can't help her.


but with our backs to the boardwalk,

looking out over the lake,

with the sun overhead, baking our backs,

gone are the apple-green tiles

and the white plastic bag. 

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