I had another nightmare about you. Your body
sinking into itself, pooling into velvet lining until I woke
with an urge to clean. I overturned the closet of old suitcases
spilling souvenirs we never managed to unpack
watching them crawl into the tilts of our old house, lean into
the cracked edges of foundation. You always said we should move,
that it wasn’t safe to put down roots in a place that smelled of sawdust.
I’m ashamed of the rolls we never developed – the lighting wasn’t right
then, but now that every picture I have of your smile is unfurling
across the room, rattling against pressed penny landmarks, I wish I could destroy
the evidence of that indifference. Instead, I plucked feathers from our bed
until the house became a cemetery
for flight. In this moment, I would fuck a ghost if only to never
again say you’ve gone too far from me, if only for you to enter
my bones instead & pluck them from my body
as emptiness clasps my hands. A Doppler roar
races through the moment, shrieking toward the hospital
of my chest, gripping pulsing walls in coiled fist. I can hear
your moans in the wail of the floorboards.
I can see strands of your hair woven into attic beams
of light, always meant to curl instead of fold. All I wanted
was to fall asleep with my hands in your hair. All I have
is a fist full of splinters & souvenirs.
Whitney Hansen (she/they) is a Midwestern writer and teacher who would fight God for half a sesame bagel. Their work is published/forthcoming in Olney Magazine, Variant Literature, Nightingale & Sparrow, Sledgehammer Lit, Warning Lines, and more. Twitter: @whitneyhansen_