November 5, 2007
By Johanna Medranda, Clarkston, MI

Where were you when air escaped my lungs?
What was distracting you when the heat ditched
my finger tips and the numbness took over my toes?
You excused yourself politely like a gentlemen.

Later your words would plunge off of an
intoxicated tongue and I would see otherwise.
I swear you wouldn’t of known the tongue was such a strong muscle
until you overheard the words that escaped through a clenched jaw.

Where did I find air? Heat? Sanity?
Where do I find the strength to push myself to laugh, wake up, move?
How do I strut like I strut? Dance until the music stops?
How does my creativity still have life? The corners of my mouth still rise?
Where do I find the nerve to excuse your absent remorse?
I patiently wait to discover a hospital that would tolerate a band-aid over an amputated leg.
If you were to ask me where I find these distractions, motivations,
the tolerance, and the patients, I would say:

In the skin stinging winters of Michigan,
In the overpowering desire for Colorado mountains and the California sun,
In the cracked cement of Peruvian buildings under a starless sky,
In the shades of green I searched for and found in your eyes,
In the laughter shared between friends,
In the warmth between the sheets of my bed,
In the permanent ink that was put on blank white paper,
That’s where.

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