this is how you leave This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

July 4, 2012
the car is not mine
and the music is not mine
and the wheel is not mine
and the sweater is not mine
but i keep the departures
and stowed into my back pocket
is a drop of what i think is a good-bye
although i can't be quite sure

the suitcase doesn't know how to cry
but the car knows how to be silent
and i want to kiss the car
i want to hear the music as it waves away the suitcase
in a book i read once
there was a passage about jellyfish
and the way they moved through water
i never knew how to move
i never knew how to move through water
but i stick my hand on concrete
i know how to burn

and i wish i could dance into cups of coffee
at abandoned gas stations
and sing into diners
where children don't know what knives are made of
but they know how to fight each other with plastic

i dig what is lost into the soles of my feet
and i can't bear to lose my hands
to highways losing themselves
in mountains
and in rivers
and on bridges
and on sands
so i keep my face on,
i have no other choice

i think the word “you” onto the car door
i miss 3 a.m. 4 a.m. 5 a.m.
and i miss tongues
i miss my tongue
i miss how to tear

i lose my destination
in a port-a-potty
last year
i forgot about those
but here i am
i am the queen
of the toilet
i never learned how to bow

i went to the mountain with you last year
now i am burning you
you look heartbreaking in smoke
i cough without meaning to
i don't know what cigarettes are
i forgot my brain wherever i left

i count strands of hair
when i should be driving
i do not tell them what to do

i feel closer
to street lamps
but they do not know what their names are

teach me how to pronounce mine

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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