[October 14]

I like to remember the scent of you – like smoke
from a bonfire. I suppose you always were burning.
Unlike myself. I simply flow. I wish I could
be more like water, but I am not as patient,
not as necessary. Patience is for adults.
Logic is for adults too. Even though I can vote
and eat pizza for breakfast and oatmeal for dinner
if I want to, I will not be logical.
I always assume the worst. I sit watching my phone
for hours, tearing myself apart from the outside in
and sewing myself together in the morning. I always
feel silly in the morning, with bruised eyes
and muscles sore from trying so hard
to hold myself together. It’s impossible
for anything to stay together for long. Eventually,
inevitably, the universe turns towards chaos,
and so will we someday, when our time to be ordered
and well-kept is up. I come from a culture
that is not afraid of death, and neither am I,
just afraid of dying. It’s October.
The last quarter of the year. The supermarket
is selling sugar skulls instead of Easter baskets,
the air is almost cool at night, and I still wait,
although I do not know why or for what. In the meantime,
I practice chemistry almost obsessively,
I roast different squashes in the oven (20 minutes, 10 on
each side.)  On weekends I watch for the cat  who lives
outside my apartment, the quiet one
with golden eyes, who stops to watch me from
across the parking lot, then turns, and leaps away,
and is gone.

[October 1]

This is how to forget
that you are probably being forgotten:
make your coffee strong, with dark brown sugar.
Go to bed at nine. Wake up at six
and sit outside in the lightening blue
looking at your phone. Look at your phone
often. Pretend that you’re not
looking for texts. Become good at pretending.
Become a good writer. Wish you were a better
writer. Don’t cry. Dig your nails into
your arm and forget you put them there until
the skin turns white around the grooves
and puffs up and stings in the shower.
Take lots of showers. Put a counter
on your phone: thirty-four days, thirty-five,
thirty-six. You knew this
would happen. One day, two thousand
two hundred and twenty-six days from now,
someone will say her name and you’ll say Who?
even though your heart will skip a beat anyway,
as it does from time to time.
Fall into the tachycardia. Cross your arms
lightly over your chest at night and pretend
that you don’t feel like you’re shrinking
into the bed. Run forty minutes in the morning
and forty minutes at night, washing the memory
of her away with every drop of sweat. Walk home
in the rain. Forget that once, before
she pushed you away, she pulled you closer. Already,
every skin cell that she ever touched is gone.