A Place to Belong

By , Bellingham, WA
On heavy January nights
when the moon rumbles low in the velvet air
I miss being able to roll up like a hedgehog
and fold, brown and trembling,
into your pocket.



February frost makes my arms ache for wanting to be
wrapped around you, jelly-boned and nauseous.



April a year ago was the last time I saw you,
your kneecaps tight against pant legs,
and me trying and trying not to cry
because I knew you wouldn't
want me that way. Broken.

May flowers didn't bloom that year,
only the sores on my arms and blisters in between
my fingertips, the hot empty spaces
you left me holding onto.

I need you.



In June I drove out to the cemetery,
to make sure you weren't there,
and I brought a bucket of milk and spilled it,
to make sure I wouldn't have to cry.


July reminds me of blankets and
giggles, leaves stuck to skin behind the cabin,
and sometimes I still feel like I'm stuck beneath the old
overturned canoe in the lake.

I'm sure it's rotten through by now,
mice and termites festering in the crooks
where I could have held your hand, and didn't.



September danced like fresh laundry,
with the same burnt soapy smell
of your sweaters and socks and smile,
and I realize I never did ask you how you got that scar on your thigh.

You wouldn't have told me, but maybe I'd have kissed you,
and maybe it would have been a tiny bit more okay.

Maybe we could have been hedgehogs
and blisters and canoes, forever,
and December would have stayed away.





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