I feel like a child again when my mother totters to the living room,
crutches in one hand, phone in the other;
It’s been a day since we last argued and I’m already
feeling like one long bruised scream, unraveling quietly like
my black jumper, thread stretched flat against my arm.
I keep going to the library, show up looking a little lost
and avoid the librarian as much as I can.
I’ve started thinking I can’t so when she shows up asking
for a favor, I apologize and leave. I don’t know how
to look out for anyone but myself. The break is over
and now I’m just looking for a reason to keep trying.
This is a month of sneezing constantly,
sniffling and swallowing sputum.
The cold seeps in and I learn to dress quickly,
never naked for more than a second.
The curtains speak to me when I stay home,
& everything glows in my fevered dreams.
This poem was loosely inspired by the month of January. As always, I’ve used poetry as an opportunity to exaggerate and warp reality.