138/365: The Lonely Places

Beneath a particular tree in a northern forest,
in the back right corner of a bedroom closet,
on top of a roof that one summer
where I'd lean against the back of the chimney
to smoke illicit cigarettes in the dark
and watch their cherries flare electric against the sky:
these were the safe pockets
into which I tucked this small self away,
the lonely places, the secret spaces,
my self-imposed confinements.

Now I rearrange each of my rooms,
waiting for a chair or a table to be the magnet
that pulls this space into a map of safe places.
I imagine I am sure and whole,
solid in my agency then,
sitting on that couch
or reading a magazine there in that patch of sun.
I am not the one with haunts who follow, insistent,
pricking my ears for the next alarm,
whispering

move on from here
walk out the door
we rot when you're not looking
this place shifts
it all despairs
and love runs away from you
it is not for you
this is not yours


I am writing one poem every day in 2016, and I am using the hashtag #365poems to document my progress.