Isabel E.

ten months

we sat in the living room
bare of furniture
except for the couch
the shelf
and the tv, crammed with movies
we bought at the corner next to
the Italian take-out.
who knew they ate pizza in China?

we stood in the yellow kitchen
the blue tiles buckling
as the glue that held them together slowly

we sat watching the traffic
a single car lazing its way down the street
finding someone to pick up and
carry away

we stood in the tiled bathroom
its mirrors surrounding us,
reflecting all the insecurities.
all the questions.
we escaped in the hot mist of the shower,

fogging up the glass until we saw a shape that
we recognized

we peered through the streaked windowpane
wishing for a miracle or at least
a distraction

we curled up in the fireplace because it couldn’t
make a fire.
pointless, really

we reached over the edge of the porch
almost falling but never
tumbling all the way
to the ground to
crash and burn.
no, we stayed in control
but sometimes we thought we
might slip and
plummet to the ground

we lounged on the patio
overlooking our bleak backyard,
its flowers barely staying alive
struggling to break through the yellowing grass
as it cracked in the blazing sun

i stood in my room,
bed in the corner,
posters on the wall pronouncing
who i was
or who i thought i wanted to be.
but the real secrets lay
under the bed or
out on the porch that wasn’t big enough
for even a toe out of line.
you would fall.

standing there, i realized
i was happy in this house.
but i couldn’t stay
in this place where i didn’t belong.
i had to leave

i went home


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.