narrator

I had a wide room with tall windows that I did not deserve. Beneath the streaming light, a narrow street buckled above oak tree roots and burst at the seams. I lived there with one plant and twenty-seven children for 180 days, which are the numbers and numbers are misleading and I needn't have mentioned them except I've found it's comforting to count the inconsequential, like love affairs and stop lights and breaths between my lips and his.

The reason I called is to tell you about my dream, I had a dream of you last night. Yes, you were this old Indian guy standing on the back porch and there was a pail of water there on the step with a drowned bird in it - a big, yellow bird, really huge, you know, floating with its wings out - and you leaned over and you took it by one wing and just flung it right up into the air, whoosh, it came alive and then it was gone. 

Once my mother called and left a message, which I despise, and she knows it, so probably she did it to spite me, but I saved it anyway because she is my compass. It went like this: We are amazing beings. We are neighbors of fire. Call us, we're at the city hotel.

catalogue of 7am

Excuse my informality, but dinner will be canceled as I’ve not left the bathroom floor

which, yes, needs to be cleaned. I see that

now, but our tables touch, and our lips have not in eleven days,

which is a number I use quite often despite it rarely being true. This is called a lie,

and they are smooth as matte red lips, both of which come easily.

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Burning coils beneath my feet now, the distance between our tongues. As expected, 

            I just need a moment of silence 

                                for fuck’s sake. 

You should call your mother or go alone, 

but do remember that Riverside is closed. Horrible about Miss Denise — 

88 is a nice round number the girls say. I swear I heard them

talking about me again in the darkness of yesterday, my band name if you’re wondering.

And I don’t believe in innocence because I’ve never seen it, and I may have ruined them,

but I couldn’t hear that part. It’s possible I didn’t take advantage of my high school years.

 

after

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I didn't dare post this when I took it for as good as the moment felt, the whispers of uncertainty and doubt snuck into my ear, growing louder, echoing silent insecurities. and so I tucked it away. who am I to feel beautiful, to take pride, to know strength, to have peace, to be loved? oh, child, who am I not? I cannot show you a wild and free life if I clip my wings nor can I teach you to soar if I remain grounded. I took flight in this moment and I'm worthy of that joy, with all my grainy imperfections. you are, too, sweet girl.