The orange of the sun dipped beneath
the trees and buildings.
I craved the road-salt whitening the pavement,
to lick it off. And with my wind-dried,
reddening hands, to touch someone.
Neither desire I’d satisfy, despite one being
plausible & boring.
The sky draped over the city like a jacket;
the jeans I wore five days straight sagged at the knees.
You’re a girl, my mother said, clean your hairbrush.
She said this over the phone, not knowing the exact state
of my hairbrush, but she knew about
my cultivation of small disorders—
scuffed boots, water damage in reread books,
dented cars. Here’s the problem
with the “wanting to touch someone” formulation:
it lacks specificity. Desire is in the details.
The morning I returned home, the rain crosshatched my window.
I lost my gray watch with a bright face in Chicago
and pretended that this meant
I’d find something of equivalent value soon.