I was two blocks from your apartment,
I was freezing and watching
this toy train lit up on a stranger’s balcony,
decoration leftover from Christmas.
The wheels were spinning madly,
like my decisions.
I was sick but I was hiding it well,
smoking my cancer down into my lungs and trying,
Oh God, how I was trying!
I was thinking that maybe I could send you a sign,
a smoke signal,
no, just a text message.
But you don’t believe in signs, so I guess
I'm just wasting my time.
I think of crossword puzzles the size of twister mats and
I think of how many bottles of wine it would take to drink you away.
Maybe three like in that dream I had
when you were there, and it was warm,
and I was happy.
I don’t dream like that often.
I'm unable to remove you from the wellspring of thoughts
that rotates in and out of my ears and eyes and mouth.
I wish you were not up there.
There is no vacancy at the hotel of my mind,
please return your room key,
checkout was six months ago.
I could be writing from fever that is only in my head,
the rest of me freezes.
The thermometer is missing.
I don’t know who I'm preaching to anymore,
which is saying something.
I am dancing a dance that hurts my feet.
If I keep spinning
like those train wheels,
it keeps me from sitting.
I am a whirling dervish waiting for pause.
I am my girl as she screams,
foul words, and punches thrown at walls,
because at least the walls don’t hit you back.
And now it’s cold and I'm lonely,
and I'm only two blocks from your house,
why can’t I get up the courage to call you?
This little toy train is spinning its wheels
and going nowhere.
It’s a metaphor,
but it’s mocking,
all I want is to see you again.
Please don’t make me feel like I'm begging.
I’ll do it,
I just don’t want to feel it.
Dandelions growing on your grave
remind me of my little self,
placing those broken buds in your palm.
Mere weeds to some,
but fountains of flora to me.
I walk between the stones and
say hello to other Sisters
that knew me once upon a time-
I brush leaves away leaves and dirt and wonder
who was last to visit?
My feet find my friend
and we walk through the old section together,
reading headstones and
searching for holy men waiting to be sainted-
coins on his grave
for safe passage in his travels.
Who will leave their pennies for me?
“I’m going to be cremated,” she says and
twenty years of Catholicism screams at me,
reminding me that our kind get buried:
locked in tombs or
under six feet of soil.
My newfound freedom tells me
that I don’t have to do
what they tell me,
I was raised with religion but learned of lies early,
cracks and faults forming
in my imposed beliefs.
I stopped listening to those that wore the cloth
when they called me a sinner,
but saw no sin in themselves.
if you would be disappointed
in my shirking of these tenets,
when you committed your life
to the Guy in the Sky.
Dandelions growing on your grave,
and I am reminded of backyards
when I was just a child
Brigid Hannon is a writer from Buffalo, NY. Her poetry and short fiction have been featured in various online journals including the San Antonio Review, Ghost City Press Review, Soft Cartel, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse. Her first collection of poetry, A Lovely Wreckage, is now available on Amazon.
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