first few months
When I think about these months the same things surface like small chunks of ice forming on the lake, separate yet after the same whole. Their wanting to push the edges together make me feel as if I have created something. I have never had so much of everything to myself. My own life a foreign and terrifying place, desires echoing back at me, my own voice but surely someone elses entirely. Long stretches of morning hours that are not morning anymore rise like battlefields that beg the hardest questions of the day. I stay twisted inside sheets that leave red creases across my stomach and the whitest parts of my arms.
Then coffee. Coffee is one of the few things I have known in life like a religion. It is not to say your god is my coffee but that I have in some way experienced need and relief in the way I imagine those people I see filing into church every single sunday across the street do. I have spent weeks searching for spaces to place the overwhelming amount of spaces.
I cash every small paycheck to feel the paper between my fingers and to see that there is something monetary to the toil resting quietly in the coffee tin next to the type writer. I live the way I like to imagine poor poets in an old city once lived that need nothing and want nothing and for some reason that keeps us wanting more. I eat oatmeal every morning because I wake with a hunger so deep it feels as if it is doing pull-ups on my ribcage and kicking in the walls of my stomach. The warm and wet oats cling to the inside of my dry throat and make me so full I ache in the opposite direction.
When the weather was warm I rode my bike everywhere listening to the clatter of the crooked front wheel and writing rhymes in my head, sometimes repeating them out loud so they wouldn’t slip away down the alleyways before I could write them down. I drank in a dark bar a few blocks away because the handsome bartender reminded me of home and kept my whiskey glass full for free, and I brought books with me because I have never been very good at casual conversations. Now that it is cold I walk everywhere. The wind on my bike is too frigid and my bones are to close to the skin, it makes my eyes water and my lips crack. I walk because I still need to feel the cold and derive certain words that would escape me if I didn’t give myself that space. I find myself at the coffee shop, the one with the large windows that let me feel like I am still outside. I watch the people scuttle by. I make up stories about their lives as they pass quickly under coats, heads tucked half between hats and scarfs, eyes closed. I think those two are in love, and those two have fallen out of love, and this one is banker, and that one is a mother, and these three are students one of which will go on to create prosthetic limbs. I also write letters, though I only mail a few. There is something special about letting my words go. I normally hold on so tight. The single copy slips out of my fingers only to be read by you, maybe once or twice.
At the end of the day I take long hot showers because my body absorbs the winter and my teeth chatter when I speak. I stand unmoving until the water runs cold because no one is waiting for me or needing me. And I think about time in slices that seem to slide in and out from one another and the way that every time I see you you look a bit older and I wonder if I do too.