We were all inhaling something into our lungs. Some tired speech. Some fear of slowing down. The formaldehyde dust. And the jet fuel we could never see. There were tired ears and tears and mine seemed to be melting into a cup I could look into and find my reflection staring back at me. Some middle aged emptiness that shouted about the proper pace of existence. And cutting furniture that slotted together so we could see who we thought we were, settled in the corner of the room. Atop the rug clenched with wood powder, hoarding unknowable dust.

Last night your words rang me awake. Words about hair ribbons, powerlines, birds that sing in the night. The way you puttered around the kitchen cutting vegetables with knives and small parcels that wane when you miss turning into each other. The way my body had been there before, the way it’s here now. Once winter graveyard, once wood textured plastic panels, now icy night curtains and the days that blend together in existential ecstasy. I puttered faster to feel my edges make breeze against the air. To be reminded that they are there. That I won’t melt into the wind’s skin at any moment. That my hands can hold you and tools that cut. That skin can be peppered with water too hot while steam smolders towards the ceiling. That I can bleed and remember I shed skin like the moon.

My feet longed to land on other continents. To sink in chewy soil. To merge with the tears lying dormant in old caves that everyone had forgotten. I wanted to drive further north, where the sleepy coffee shops disperse between cacti, and forget their keyboard worries. I wanted to pass through compacted earth statues. Towards the memory of this empty space, the past’s birth, frail enough to hear mother’s words land in this still water.

I can feel that spider crawling up the wall and the light falling from the sky, your red door frame. The way it all reminded me I had outgrown this old sweater that kept me in spaces that cried for communion and introduced me to the truth, only sealed beneath 83 layers of misremembered sour. I longed for tree’s bark and instead got MDF joints that spouted mysteries like stomach juice in the air.

When my deep cuts spread dust through the house, I opened all the windows to call wind in, to sweep toxic sparkles into melting snow. But these particles born from the creation cut, rise and race around the house. Finding their way to walls and commiserating in newfound fabric. Fine enough to cut you and slide out of the vacuum’s deep inhale.

I had cut something open but I didn’t know what it was made of. I didn’t know what indivisible air would leak out. Just that it pulled my body out of the room to return me with a swollen tongue, and eyes that floated in the air, watching from the wall.

My eyelids draw heavy when there is something inside me that longs to be remembered but is locked away in the attic, or down in the basement, underneath heavy dust bindings. Pages of marriages and miscarriages once consummated, now only ink that sticks to paper, that catches the light when you turn sheets over in your fingertips. Where was it? That page that remembered? The one where water dissolves the cursive truth and binds itself to the pressed tree pulp surrounding, guarding words that knew how to set feeling on fire. Dampened with mildew time.

That piece that took root in my spine and sent me running. The sole that roosts in my womb and cries with beauty. These legs that would push me deeper into the mountains.
The emptiness that everything fell into. And all those pieces, pictures, parcels, that knew how to tip into this infinite hole, I would mistake them all for myself.