Smell, Singular

I boarded with the deed tucked in my pocket next to my self interest


I have to wonder if the lace I wear is damaging her.

My self interest is that I’m interested in only her well being and it is my deed to get us there

I presume I have 7 flights between me and the vision of her city coming to fruition again

Between me and the tears due in time being late for once or perhaps entering for a different reason with a spring in their step because new worries sometimes wear a face of peace

An owl has night vision, it turns its head 180 degrees

My head is turned Southwest in my duty to fall asleep with her figure etched in the darkness of my eyelids

Like when you close your eyes in repose under the sun and see fireworks and warm colors dancing and it whispers burns but you want to stay for the show

Only the opening act for sleep is outlined in thick dark marks in monochrome with hope

My coat hangs in its place and I don’t take out the crumpled paper because I don’t want to know if her signature is there

Each day I send 2 or 3 LED messages that are jettisoned to her titanium like magic, with the words flowing as easily as before and I wonder if I should feel guilt and then I feel it deeply in the absence of guilt

Each day I fool myself when I think I mastered the game but I am my own set of standards and I typed the instructions myself

Pain creeps through veins and scratches the surface of my confidence which I bought with a vow of my blood, and I scream that I’m not listening because I promised I would not

The iron triangle of this world of mine is the figure of my love and God

Checks and Balances between 3:00pm relief like morphine making my illness seem a fairytale and a 2:00am search for answers in micro-editing my prayers so they have to be answered

I think I’ll steam out the wrinkles when I know we made it, 7 flights from now

The tricky part is I believe we already have.

The walls are lonely and the sky is an attack when I wandered out 3 times watching my own breath and I feel crazy because there is grass

She always answers and the voice ties a line I can feel tugging lightly on the base of my phone

It’s sweet like honey and I realize it is home

7 flights from now I hope and fight to arrive at her house where she lifts the lid off a silver plate

And presents me with her lace

She spent 200 something days carving out of the flag she wrote into her brain

And I’ll rejoice and say by God the banishing of tears was worth it

The worry I buried will disappear from under the earth and the dirt will return rubbing its eyes, blinking twice, and wondering what silly thing must have just occurred

Fleeting problems like those I was never allowed

And in a blink of an eye we’ll laugh in the gentle kiss of light transferred from our window about how once upon a time we thought our love was not invincible

And every date Levi brings home we’ll treat like our own because maybe she’ll be the one, who are we to deny them that wish

The window’s light will take the smell of our house

Our very own smell

Silly us to think we’d never have our own identity in a scent and now it will never wash off our clothes

Levi’s friend returned his hat and said it didn’t have a name but he knew it was his because of this

I do hope our smell is her smell and in ceremony it becomes me

She sees me as a savior and I hope one day she climbs the stairs to kiss me on equal footing

And says baby I love you so much don’t ever leave

And I’ll remind her, when have I ever?

Maybe then I’ll turn out my pockets

And the signature on the deed will not matter

Part of my vow is that I never look because it should hold no importance

And it doesn’t.

Because what I just fantasized I see as a truth, that is my hubris and shall it kill me that I be wrong…

I wouldn’t change what I built that’s unbreakable except not to let it spring from my palm even if she pries open my hand

I play my song to her tune and I will until it kills me to

And I will be proud of myself for my zipped coat pocket and cramped fist


They bought Boardwalk and Park Place

Hotels on each

No they didn’t buy it in competition they were theirs before the rest of us passed Go the first time and collected 200 dollars

They broke the bank and I have

What is it?

A House on Atlantic Avenue

They have 4 railroads too

A Monopoly

On a game of self love

An arm wrestling of who gets to hurt

Who has the pulpit

The banker is their own reflection

In their inflection they seem generous

I know they are but I am not a recipient

I spy the utilities left unmarked but in trying to pursue this any longer I will not own, but I will be

The Water Works

Oppression olympics

Their piece moneybags

And mine a shoe, tattered because it’s rusty

The catch is I could flip the board I could call the hypocrisy I could break out the manual

But I am an adult

So they will never know my story

It hurts that if they did I would feel okay and I know they would rejoice in the power of learning the notes behind my name

They will never see the bills I’m hiding in a towel draped under the table where the game is played

They have a monopoly and I sold my equal opportunity I sold a friendship I’m hiding my wealth and my stories and my earnings because I don’t believe I need to throw dollars on the board

I don’t want to buy Park Place and Boardwalk

I’m trying to walk

I’m trying to breathe

And I’m trying to give them the privacy that was denied me

I want

I want socialist monopoly

Let’s all just own our respective property

I’ll have houses on North Carolina and Tennessee and when it’s someone else’s turn I won’t pretend I own their colors too

They’re all different and it’s turns

It’s turns

We roll dice and we take turns

You listen to me

I listen to you

What a world that would be equal opportunity monopoly

Played in the course of the instructions

But everyone hates a person who reads them aloud

So I’ll burn my wealth I hid under the towels

I’ll say “you’re right I don’t understand, I have no pain, and you are the most important person on the board”

I’ll lie that the banker didn’t keep me up for 7 nights

And that their house isn’t a place where my heart gets tight

And I’ll pretend I’m fine being water works

And knowing they will never know and will hold a public speech based on the non information They accumulate by seeing me as a passing face

I’m a poor old shoe

But nobody will ever see

Because I am an adult

And I fucking hate monopolies