Monday, April 23, 2012


buffalo wings and a half house 
the beginning of the second half of knowing you 
dinner from the freezer in the room where i screamed at little brother
you were gone and he was really little and i have never been more sorry for anything else
the beginning of this second half of knowing you i was learning how to be angry
little brother was hugging his knees to his chest in the far corner diagonal the freezer
little brother was wet in the face and i was too but he was silent and i knew it was wrong
i was distracting myself with my heart beat and the 2 in 1 washer-dryer 
every room in the half house was a multi-purpose had been left on the screen dimming the next room with a steady artificial glow
the middle room with the file cabinets and dining table and the armoire 
the only decoration was an painting and a clipping from the new yorker
the clipping was a sketch of a man from behind sitting on some front steps 
you probably thought it looked like you because it kind of did  
and those small italicized words beneath the man expectant and illegible from a distance
said something very anti-climactic like "starting over" and those words and that sketch
always made me angry and that clipping very well may have been the reason 
I cornered little brother and I have never been more sorry for anything else kept glowing and you were gone and you were busted

i had a metal bunk bed in my closet-sized room so my friends could still sleep over
i had a metal bunk bed and i remember very well the smell of that room like fresh ikea
that never grew up forever temporary and waxy wooden floors with waves that made things roll 
chunky drips of white paint and a brand new area rug that was really a welcome mat with tape on the bottom 
my entire room was my bed
I had two squiggly-cut full length mirrors that were always balancing on the wooden waves and they fit
right into one another and i thought that was the greatest thing reflecting all of my book fair posters
giving me four more fake feet
i had a metal bunk bed so my friends could still sleep over and your room was right next to mine 
and our walls were very thin because sometimes i could hear you snore and all the time 
i could smell the smoke from the family of six who lived in the other half of the house

one night my friend was sleeping over and we were learning how to get angry and get satisfied and
one time at her house i punched her in the head and it might have been because of that clipping but
when she was at my house we were on the bottom half of my bed together and i had these stars
blue plastic half stars the size of 
they were mounted over little light bulbs with sticky velcro
in the hallowed plastic star shells were small round holes and when the big light was off in my closet-room 
there were small round lights all on the walls and i was proud of those stars

i remember concentrating hard on my heart facing the door that never quite shut
concentrating hard on my breathing my friend put my hand in her shirt and she was bossy and i was proud and 
you were snoring and the mob was smoking
i remember both us of being bossy at once and i was still concentrating on my heart 
she felt the beat get fast and she put my hand in her pants and the room got darker and the stars got brighter and 
I thought about the well in my backyard and the house at the dead end with the cameras and the intercom and the stone lions and the fact that the dead end sign was balancing like my mirrors on the gate to the cemetery I thought about buffalo wings and pop-tarts and alone in the middle room and the leather couch that stuck out and your sweat pants and wrinkles and curly shoe laces and piles of papers and piles of cookbooks and piles of bikes all doing justice to the multi-purpose function of the room i only walked through in my cleats to the freezer to the 2 in 1 washer-dryer between games and I thought about the white-haired men and the middle ages and florida and sheba and then the size of my room made me angry and I got scared of my friend and made her climb the ladder and I kept smelling smoke 

like the snores kept steady