Academic journal article Field

Once I Made Up My Mind

Academic journal article Field

Once I Made Up My Mind

Article excerpt

the room felt flimsy, like a paper box

for takeout rice or small ornaments.

It had a hypotheticality,

blank walls dizzy with new paint.

On the carpet: assorted piles

of old phone chargers, insurance statements,

a glazed Turkish bowl filled with nickels.

For unknown reasons,

these could not be thrown away,

but I wasn't bringing them with me.

The van was packed outside,

yellow, hulking in the foggy neighborhood

like an outsized thought.

At such times guilt is never to be doubted.

She'd been coming home at 3

most nights, a 3

like falling open handcuffs,

and I knew the quiet hours well.

But the room had waited until now

to share its hollowness with me.

She had left long prior

but I'd only just begun to feel

my skeleton on the air mattress

and notice how loud

the overpass was behind the elm trees,

or the swamp cooler,

obnoxious, knocking all night

in its brackets

and to wonder how we ever slept. …

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