Each place, each place I’ve called home
is bisected in origin by water,
in time by roads and the bridges
carry me across each time,
home home not home.
I release the thought after moving it
from right brain to left and back.
The bridge might be a placebo or diversion.
We cross it in pleasure,
dreaming its collapse.
We cross it and drive up the hill,
past the house where it happened.
It happened / it is not happening,
it is not happening, not now.
Riveted to the empty
sound, I wait, listen.
We cross the state line and in Kansas,
it is Sunday,
and we have already not gone to church.
The bridge bows, and on it
I find a still, dead starling:
fresh red and almost with us.
Where death shouldn’t be,
in plain sight. We lose things
on the bridge.
We go down with it.
What I felt and what I was told to feel,
so what I learned: to fold up
the feeling, rearrange the room and hold
still. Now there is this stack,
disheveled, of true
and untrue things
presented at once.
Just tape them to the wall,
I forget where the bone broke
until it rains. It swells
like a used-up mattress
Drawers and shelves fill
even as I clear room
You’ll keep your bones as long
as you can.
I take down the wall,
empty the drawers,
sort. Each thing saturated
in time. Narrow pathways
to move in the crowded room,
hauls to Goodwill.
I must find a place I can live
I either put it in the landfill now or
someone else does when I’m gone.
Paige Parsons is from Mission Viejo, California and lives in Los Angeles. She writes, makes clothes and textiles, and is a member of Belladonna* Collaborative.