Mission Street

January 9, 2011
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For the hundredth time, you’d meet me there.
We’d walk like soft humility on concrete
To a change; an exultant mother who understood
And nodded as I drank your sweet tea, discreetly,
Spilling my coiled, colored troubles into your lap.

Where you’d make every movement behind sonorous grace,
And pretend not to notice.

Because, though my shoulders were placid shades of purple,
My feet were a violent red
And I’d never quite learned how to bandage the blisters
Or wind my splitting body in comfort fabrics.

You would wait, only to wrap my hand around the scissors
And watch firmly as I cut every string,
(The ones that would tight around my chest and broke skin)
But I’d keep a few, to remember.
And you’d pretend not to notice.

We would always sit facing each other,
Leaving the losses and shortcomings between us
And I’d feel more at home in the small rooms.
I don’t think about you when I’m left cutting coiled strings,
But when I was too tired to walk, you were there to hold my wrists
And for the hundredth time, show me the way.

Sometimes I think you’re more grown than any of us
Because you don’t waste time when you could call
And when every string pulls me face down to my sheets,
You are the only one that does.
Sometimes I think you’ll be with me a long time
But when I finally found my way there alone,
You had left it.

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