He bent his knees to mine as my train arrived and gave me a breakup, and an ‘i love you’ before he could exhale – my legs still warm from his body. It became commonly performed and recited as if it were his religion, the train stop acting as his sanctuary. The memory still haunts me, but I move forward with my face kissing the sky.

Winter is everywhere and I pave the steps closer to my shelter, pacing my breath with musical hums. I familiarize myself with the unwelcoming scent of urine as I turn the door into the apartment. Shes lying there effortlessly composing sentences with fixed detachment. carving my presence with an emotional landscape of withdrawal. every word she speaks feels like the end of a sentence. Isolation sets in, and she closes the door behind her.

I retreat to the backdoor of the building and strike a match to ignite the cigarette between my lips. Laughter and words are exchanged below me and I recognize her voice. She never smokes in the back. I shrug and remove myself towards the front of the building in respect to her unspoken wish to avoid me. I exchange a few breaths with the air and retreat back into the place I cannot call my home. As my body sinks into a sea of blankets, I daydream of a future where I belong.

© Photo by Alison Scarpulla


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