Written by Michaela Lavelle.
Graphic by Peyton Cabaniss.
Honorable Mention in the Spring 2019 Creative Competition, “Challenge.”
Every exhale is a knickknack I put on your shelves
Coat on the rack and shoes at your door
I make myself at home
moving in my favorite memories, my greatest fears, mugs, goals, dreams, plates and picture frames
My fingers touch the thermostat
“This is too much.”
I pack boxes of what pieces of myself I can find
I am not sure if they belong to me or to you
Should I leave some on purpose?
Hoping they’re enough a part of the décor to go unnoticed for a while
then too painful to throw away
The door locks behind me.
I get lost on the walk back but not on purpose this time
The stars shake their heads at me as I cross streets without looking
I don’t mean to be careless
But not crying takes a lot of concentration and I cannot let anything
Tears stain the lumpy couch I never bother to replace
Always so quick to move out, slow to move back in
Here the floors creak and the paint wears and
even though it’s mine
it’s hard to love
But I want to.
I slowly begin to trace hearts in the dust
And try to feel more like the home I wanted to make out of you.