Your mind forces through another curtain of sleep, faded
in the morning flame, your patience rusting away, too much effort
to breathe the too-clean air, catching like the vibrations
blooming from a girl’s violin strings. She told you
she’d be back, but one day she stopped hiding flowers,
stopped radiating enough warmth to combat the midsummer afternoons.
On your good days
(you envision them as green glass bottles)
you let yourself open the windows in your room, let
the cloudlight filter in silver rectangles echoed on your walls.
You’ve only made eye contact with someone outside once, the postman
on his last dregs of coffee, but all you saw was the jagged fatigue
of a prolonged job. You don’t keep your windows open
between 2 and 3 in the afternoon anymore, not even
to revel in the comfort of the slivers of shadow, darting
around the room like tongues of fire.
You can barely remember words of praise, everyone painting
a portrait of who they wanted you to be, a successful mold
of potential, the value of your life reduced to
two-point-three-million and still rising, the number of houses you’ve seen
illuminated only by the sun in the background.
You find yourself drifting through daydreams, temptations,
more dramatic, more scripted, more f***ing important than your life, and
you wonder when you started feeling so cold, so unimpressionable,
so tired of the routine that makes everything dreary.
You decide that for once, all you’ll let yourself see
is your own free will and importance,
the irony of lighting up
what everyone builds around you.