You and I could sit for hours, fold a thousand paper boxes;

still so little would fit inside. Only pebbles, feathers, fruit peels, 

and the tiny backs of earrings that always go missing in pockets.

Small items, their lightness measured by just how many

you can lose and not notice. Imagine if we tucked

all the stinging things to our chests and rocked them quiet.


In narrow beds, we slept, in some loud place, where

people sing together, and you

were irretrievable, disappearing into the noise around us.


These days, forgetting the uproars and affection overcomes

me, but still I wonder about sound proof rooms, how sharply

I’d yell, and then how softly I’d hold your head in my lap.

At once so familiar and strange, it was not just the seasons that

changed. Summer pleated and froze, and still I do not know

what I should be allowed to condone or care for.

Illustration by Sydney Wilder