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  • Scared to death, yeah? I feel it in me the way you would something in sinews, the air graphed out. When I was younger I thought it was the moment when you're sitting at the window and the rain is tinny on the chopped-up bits of driveway. Oils from the pine branches and the larkspur all strung down, strained and stained with muddied color as if you'd pressed your thumb to them and smeared the solids: huge, chandeliered angles. Everything a stream. I thought it was how the glass keeps the cold until your hand's against it, and you realize you're walled away -- a heavy energy of separation at its most modest, its most palpable, the easiest to put into words; you expect the image to split, or at least include you. For a long time I thought it was all just moments like that.

    School has me spread thousands of miles. Very literally. I have so many homes that it doesn't make sense for me to keep them -- I'm unsure of what (or who) deserves the most space and unsure of how to make all those divisions. Being un-static doesn't mean that you're not leashed to some deep-trenched, centered fulcrum. Pay attention to that. A crutched, clingy thing: a boy from the coast, the dip below your left eye when that cheeky epithet of "hypochondriac" is thrown onto you, your sister growing, someone always recoiling and folding up inside somebody safer. Move on, now. Move.

    But it's not all clean and obvious fissures, right? The window damming rainfall. Sometimes it has to be the part where you leave school a week early -- pushing deadlines, early exams -- to go to Egypt with your family, as now you've moved in with your mother's doctor boyfriend who can help afford such trips, and your poetry professor's pursing lips and e-nun-ci-a-tttting that Please, have your portfolio finished prior to departure like she is a flight attendant, like you are moving in a real, true sense this time. You're lying on your bed and the ceiling's veined as wood grain, roommate's mumbling about her television and you're held so hard, Katy, inside a town that handed you a Daft Punk-wannabe, allowed you to forgive Emily Dickinson for whatever wrongs you'd thought she'd done you. Why are you counting? It's bright and trite and familiar here. Sometimes it has to be the part where you're sick and you don't make that into a goddamn poem.

    So turn back there: the ground only moss, your heels sticking. The sun too well-rested without glasses to block it and you've cupped your hands tight around your eyes as a visor. Don't tell me how the ending goes -- I'm excited about this one.
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