What a strange thing to do, to drive, on a whim
to the house where you were born and where,
I imagine, your mother still lives, to pull aside
and stop my car and listen to the rushing creek
that we used to fall asleep to on my visits.
It’s been years since we’ve spoken and I think
we’re both alright with that but as I paused
there I felt something clutch at my gut, as if
my period was coming on command at
the sight of that wooden house, painted two
shades of mellow blue. I used to think that
you could do this, make my body move its
natural rhythms around to suit your schedule.
I remember lying on your twin bed, you breathing
in my ear, you know, you could move your hips,
too. But all the things I’ve seen from on my back,
the plastic stars you stuck to the ceiling. Those
were passive times for me, taking it all in. I didn’t,
as you feared I did, see your world with my suburban
eyes, trained on green clean yards and home repair.
It’s true, I didn’t have to think much of money
or its lack back then, and you found me wanting for that.
But I loved your run-down ghost town, my gothic
mind peopling every crumbling Victorian for fun
and I suppose that was the problem, no? I always
got to leave when the weekend was up.
Late August and the season is slipping by.
From our deck, my love laments the sun
setting earlier. But I’m grateful for the growing
dark, the wind whipping oaks more forcefully.
In April, I confess, I was greedy for longer light.
I’ve never been at ease with the directive to live
in the moment. Not all moments are worth dwelling
in, and what would I be, bereft of longing?
Me, I hope for gold to creep among the green,
for a cold breeze and a busyness summer never
lets me achieve. I’m ready, now, to peel my weight
from those I’ve leaned too heavy on all season,
to shed this slowness, my thickening skin
and feel alive, at last, among the dying things.
Erin Lynn is a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut where she also teaches English. She holds and MA in Irish Writing from Queen’s University Belfast and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. She co-curates Poor Mouth Poetry in the Bronx, and lives in Queens, NY.