when the message comes
lighting the screen like headlights
in the eyes of the crossing deer
you will add to your growing list
of the weird places you find yourself crying these days:

the front of a starbucks’ line-up,
floors wet from end of day mopping,
as the barista hands you a cake pop

your parents’ dining room table
spring sun gliding through the blinds
and through your shaking fingers

the stop-start waltz of
southbound rush hour because
flo rida’s ‘my house’
is actually an ode to the unmeasured comfort
of staying in, your lover a witness
to the downward dial turn of self care

and prosecco

the thin dark of the backstage, your weight
in clipboards as the band roars
a third encore

the bathroom stall closest to the door

the water station, the sea of rainbow cups

the swarming sunday boardwalk

your doubting, doubting hands

and now, the over-virgo’d parking spot
two miles from the venue, show dress in the crook of your elbow
needle dangling from the half-stitch
your bags like anvils beneath you
as you feel city after city of almost collapse inside of you

and you stack your spine to stand again
and turn the greyspirit day over, over
looking for something to show
for the months that left this path of bruises.

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