the destroyer > text > Nina Puro


The windows rattling tell us
how much time is left. Our faces
trapped in bedroom amber, about to, about to,
pull coat on, find scarf. Twigs
scratch the window from trees grafted
onto other trees, spill
three kinds of fruit we’ll boil to jam. Down the hall,
someone calls and calls. I beat
the pillows to take back
a nickel, a needle, a thumbnail.
Bodies stand up and lie down. It doesn’t
mean anything. Someone died. Someone will. I am sick
of describing my dreams. I beat the cotton batting
like a tiny heart. We eat according to the time
& not our hunger. Hours
measured by the row of candles
flickering wet on the fire escape.
The floor does not show me as clean,
but the nests of shoes on the floor show
I belong. Somewhere. Cigarette hiss
the loudest sound in the room. So I might
be killing myself, but hey I carry fire.
So we’re shunted across the country & decade again
& it’s mostly the same. Down the hall,
lungs unbuckle when it’s finally late enough
to call it night. We talk in a handful of
heartbeats. What is said we both know
is half-lie. My skin’s the skin of paper boats
floating in a puddle on the roof. Night measured
by the slow circles the boats make.
I belong in the hold.