On your back, I traced the words I was too scared
to say. You followed the path of my fingers, though,
and were disappointed by my fear. When you asked
me to give voice to that sentiment, I thought you
could be my new home. I am obsessed with a house
two blocks south of my apartmet. A two story brick
house across the street from a bar I never go to.
My house has had a for sale sign for months,
since long before I thought you could be the place
to which I long to return. I know now, you are no place.
You are a person. You will move, you will shift, you will change
your mind. Like me, you disappear. I carry home on my back.
I carry it when I take the dog to the park. I carry it when
I go to my parent’s house. Maybe this is what the homeless
woman who sat in the middle of the sidewalk this afternoon knew,
that her home was wherever she was. She yelled at me to say
she was not afraid of my dog. If we were young together, I would
take her to my home, I would undress her, I would trace words
on her back that I longed to say. I used to lie in bed and stare
at you and think, I will never love you as much as you love me.
My great love started with the thought that I would never love her.
What a fool, to think that. My great love ended with new scars
on my skin and flailing and job loss. No matter what, I can always say
I went the farthest. I am trying something new these days, I am letting
everything slide. I am walking past that house, my longed for home, daily.
Today, I heard they are closing my favorite dive bar. I thought
of the time you took me there, how we got drunk, how you wrote
my name in sharpie on the bathroom wall. I would like to somehow
take that part of the wall, to have a memorial of our home. You came
back once, but my bed distubed you, the thought of someone new
in it. My next home will have a porch. It will have wood floors,
and a yard for my dog. There will be a light in the kitchen, too.
I will make breakfast there. I will take the dog out. I will clean
the bathroom and decorate the foyer. I will hang my paintings there.