We are trying to figure out the cut on my chest that has not healed. We think it is a spider bite, but we are not sure. We think it is a bee sting. We think it is poison oak. Possibly my heart, poking through at last.
What were you writing? he said when he found me. How could you not notice that something was hurting you?
I have lost five pounds since last week. I am wearing jeans and flailing loose in them, like I could slip out. But rather than feeling vulnerable I feel powerful. I am crossing the tracks in front of the beating train. I am hiking Dead Woman's Hollow and speaking to the men I find there. I have printed out my manuscript and am carrying it around with me, bound with a rubber band, as heavy as a baby. Everywhere I go--the coffeehouse, the friend's house--I want to plop it on the table to hear it make a sound. I am writing tiny comments in green ink. I am making changes. I am almost done.
And I feel them, creeping in.
The poems are coming back. They have waited for so long. They are older and have eye-lines and fight scars and dust in their houses, and are grown up and scary and sad, and are waiting, waiting in their dark clothes, waiting with their hunger eyes, waiting to be written to you.