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Thank god someone taught me how to change the title.
Briskly, I March out of the house.
A sharp intake of air, and with bags
Under my eyes and in my fists, I step into the chilled air.
It smells like earth, so healthy.
I suck it all in with greedy gulps.
I’m so hungry.
The shock of my uprooting,
Of Momma seeing Alyssa and I
Sharing a coffee-flavored ice cream
And a cherry sundae kiss.
I texted Lys a hundred times,
In the darkness of my room
With a cell phone my mother had forgotten to take away.
Waiting for the glow of a message,
A light of hope, a sign,
My prayers were answered after an hour or so.
My rosary clicked against the phone screen
As I grinned, knowing I hadn’t been forsaken.
Until I saw the words.
“Leave me alone-
I don’t love you anymore.
I never did.
I was
And just like that, the bus
That smelled like travelers and bad food
Took me to Seattle.

April showers indeed.
Every goddamn moment of the day.
I live in a crowded house now.
I have five roommates.
Peter, Kale, Andrew, Ray, and Les.
Les is a boy. I think it’s funny.
They’re in a band and they play in bars
And have lots and lots of sex
With lots and lots of women
And Andrew got chlamydia once.
I’ve become too tired to smell flowers.
I don’t have dreams anymore.
I sit at work.
I work at a bookshop.
And I’ve started
To hate how much I use the word “I”
At the beginning of sentences.
I used to love books.
As a child, I’d poor over the pages.
Hold the books like friends.
Romances were my favorite.
I’d be the prince, lovingly kissing
Fair princesses blushing cheeks,
Bringing them flowers,
Writing them songs,
Loving them endlessly.
I haven’t gotten around
To deleting her number.

“May”, she says, with genuine warmth.
“Please hold this one for me.”
She hands me an Oscar Wilde compilation
With beautiful binding.
Where did this come from?
I put it in a brown paper bag
Which seems unfitting
And with a flourish
I write her name,
She has sweet pink cheeks
And the color matches her hair.
I watch her walk out of the shop.
But not walk.
She is gliding.
It isn’t just the rollerskates.
There is something very extraterrestrial
About the way she carries herself.
But her voice is earthly
And healthy
Like the smell of dirt.
I suck it all in with greedy gulps.
I’m starved.
I hold her book to my chest.
If she doesn’t come back to get it,
I’ll go crazy.
Am I crazy?

June comes and so does she.
She got the book with the beautiful binding.
And an Asimov book,
And one on meditation.
She could read this all online.
But she stays.
She stays with me
In the beautiful bookshop.
She reads the books
And buys them afterwards.
I’ve never seen anyone do that.
She is steady
Like a pulse
But not my pulse.
I’m so afraid of her
And her beautiful blood
That fills her cheeks.
“My name is Sam”
I tell her,
But I can’t go any further.
She comes in each day now
“Hi Sam! I read a new book!”
And my heart swells.
I am a hot air balloon.
I am full.
I take out my phone.
Goodbye Lys.

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