I wake up, but only out of habit,
In a body unfamiliar to yesterday’s goodnight kiss;
Brush a smile onto my face,
Swallow a cup of laugh tracks,
Slip punch lines into my pockets.
This is the calm before the storm,
The moment before the butterfly flutters its wings,
Before the doves are set free, before the dandelion seeds take flight;
When we have not yet grasped that existence is just another art to master-
We ask questions we know the answers to just to stall for time.
I call you my sister, but there is no blood linking us.
It must be, that we’ll do anything to make this world seem smaller-
Find mutual friends in every person we meet,
Leave out Jupiter when drawing the solar system;
There is too much time, there is not enough time.
Friend, we are flames trapped within water droplets.
Of course the first time you dreamt about the ocean, it was a nightmare.
There is still sand around your nails where polish should be,
Lipsticks spilling over Cupid’s bow,
Skirts that dismiss our hips and pool at our ankles.
I am afraid of the way my body fits into the air around me,
My palms weighing so heavy even when I am holding nothing.
This is a first for me, but not for him;
Afterwards, I sit for hours on the kitchen tile,
My tongue taking up too much space in my mouth,
Thinking about ex-boyfriends just to remind this body it was once loved.
At home, I tell my mother I am feeling lost.
“Child, of course you are.
It’s not like you’ve done it before,
This life thing-
Of course you’re still figuring it out.”