tangled tracks

My love lies neglected on a naked pillow, cold where I wiped the juice from your thighs. It’s the forgotten change you try to shake from your pockets at the subway gates. You’ll walk – because you like walking, because you need a fresh air of a reminder, that all you wanted was to escape the tangle of my bedsheets before they strangled you into a feeling you wouldn’t understand. You’ll walk, because you prefer to keep things simple. You know the streets better than the ridges of my heart, and I’ll agree that they are much easier to map out.

tangled tracks

bus stations

I slipped away from the prying eyes of thirsty men and my father. To the only place a woman can truly feel free away from the privacy of her home – the ladies’ room.
Except that this ladies’ room was the better half of a crumbling building, a roof precariously stitched to empty spaces in the walls.
A woman perched on the sinktop, passing a cup of coffee over to her friend.
Damn, I thought, I wanted to have a smoke.
A shy smile, I slid into a stall. There was no door.
Damn, I thought, okay, as I crouched, moving my undies.
It was hot in Jordanian summer, the smell of urine clung to the air.
I redressed awkwardly and went to wash my hands in the sink.
The pretend-sink. Rotted pipes filled with sand.
The girls lit up a cigarette, I sighed, hah, and
Me too! I lit up one of mine, my words a tangle anyway,
Popped up into the broken sink and hung out for awhile.

bus stations

nights

She leaned on the bar with her empty cup.
Two boys beside her were deep in conversation, but as soon as one of them sensed her assertive energy he instinctively moved his own beer to give her space.
She tried to catch the tender’s attention but sighed and turned away, tapping her foot. Her head swayed to the music ever so slightly, without detracting from her poise. Facing the bar now, she was more forceful. Moved towards the tender until he finally grabbed her outstretched cup.
“How does it feel to be a queen?”
She whipped her gaze around.
The boy next to her anticipated her stare.
“That’s…that’s my line for tonight.
he hesitated,
Did it work?”
A beat.
She whisked her water back from the bartender and gulped some down. Beat.
“Oh, I just thought you said that because I am a queen.”
The parody of a huff and a facetiously irritated glimmer in her eye, her voice even and nonchalant.
Hinging to walk away, an exhale:
“Oh, you are.”
Playful scoff –
She disappears,
Creases curling on her lips.

nights

for jamie

I used to have this friend, I forget their name. We met online. It’ll come to me at some point. Jamie. We would chat on the phone all the time. We’d never met, in person, but we’d hang on the line and listen to each other breathe to fall asleep. I would sleep on the couch in my parents’ living room, I don’t know why. Maybe I was too anxious in my room. Maybe the sound of my dad snoring in the room next to mine kept me awake.
My parents didn’t have blinds in their living room. I was afraid of the shadows outside. When it was windy, I’d think that the black garbage bag set out for collection for the next morning was a stranger swaying in the dark. When it was calm, I’d imagine it.
Sometimes I would wake up in the early morning with the phone pressed against my cheek, checked to hear Jamie’s breathing on the other end, and fell back asleep.
We lost touch, I think.
Maybe I imagined it.

for jamie

cloudy soy

It’s funny, we think we are friends with someone but really it turns out that our social circles are so large these days, we’re just lost in the cloud.
Cloudy coffee. Soy.
I know I am.

cloudy soy