First Home


by Erica Brenes

Dawn crawls itself across your eastern side
Wedges and expands into your morning-shift void
Stretches itself and kneads its muzzle
Beneath our covers and makes me slip
Naked feet first
Towards our cold floor.

I crash into percolating day.

Between then and now,
Between the acceptable times to tangle ourselves in bed,
Before your time card’s been punched,
Before your engine is ignited in reverse,
Before you are on your way to me,
I pace, I wait, match head un-struck.

The air is hot and dry and thick and the light blushes in anticipation,
Pushing its back through our blinds and all of it isn’t ours, just yet—not now,
And the mine of it all, the ownership and maybe even the oneness,
with lush and guilt, I breathe this place in.

My neck bends, my wingspan unfolds
My ears kiss our popcorn ceiling,
Pressed against our walls, enclosed,
I spin outwards.

I finger the prongs of forks.
I examine the creases between cushions.
Sweep palms across the walnut brown of our coffee table,
I haunt our home,
I pour myself onto the hard wood.

Desperate to remember, to swallow each shape and hue,
I take books off shelves, bust their bindings,
Stare at the intermingled arms of our spooning spare spectacles,
Photograph their insides with my nude and knowing eye,
I crab crawl around the perimeter of our shared space,
Inhale the dust particles in between our blinds and choke on it all,
So that when we are old and miles away,
Barely able to picture what our first home looked like,
I can tell you about it.

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