It's true I loved a sad boy once and I swore that I was not the his answer
But rather the question.
We had a fierce love and painted the town red with it but everyone knows that
Slow and steady wins the race.
But with each bone crushing hug he gives me-
The type where it feels like your soul is leaving your body-
I learn that swift and reckless make you forget that there ever was a finish line at all.


Though his touch thrills me and his voice occupies the most remote crevices of my unconsciousness
He is not my only love.
I have carved shelves into the walls of my heart where
I store him on the sturdiest wooden platforms.
Flushed tightly against the flesh of my chest, they are
Polished pretty, glistening under a spotlight.


It's worth noting that I house other shelves,
Not ones that I've carved
But rather ones that came with the model.
Like renting a furnished apartment,
I might not like the d├ęcor at least it's free and it's not like
I've got the strength to carry it all out of the building


And on those dusty corner shelves,
Creaking and unreliable,
Sit dormant maybes and shameful secrets that quietly
But persistently
Tug on the hem of my dress
Or the sleeves of my sweater
And whine
'but what if everything was different.'
You see,


My favorite color is green.
You know-
The hue that tickles the bellies of spring leaves
And erodes quite suddenly on the skins of
Ripening mangoes.
If you really knew me, you'd know that


Green sits stoic on my creaky shelves.
I often sit in crowded classrooms,
Diligently copying down notes and
Dutifully reciting
'yes, professor,'
'for my presentation I studied,'
'what was the reading?'
And I often imagine that I would love nothing more than
to wait patiently
for my paper salvation:
a crisp white ticket to the status quo
four years in the making.
But green is always humming and yearning for
Wide open spaces, reminding me
Of a love that one can only feel
By looking for it.


It might also be important
To consider
That I love dreaming
But hate sleeping. For, though my reveries
Massage my brain with soft pastels
And creamy melodies,
I am reminded of their absence in my waking life
And my lack of will to find them every
Eighteen hours or so.
Or that


I wear my hair to my waist
To distract others from
The stiffness of my limbs as they
Meet my gaze.
At least the soft tresses
Sway lazily
And lightly with the breeze.


I tend to keep those last two
On my secluded shelves, too.


Sometimes I think;
If not only for a flicker of time,
That I instead of carving shelves
I might try to fumigate the chambers:
Everything out,
Nothing back in.