Santa Monica Blvd and Sawtelle Blvd

Soul excavation stop #1: first date with the king of dust
{free-writes in places where I’ve made memories that I regret//attempts to come to peace with those memories}

Parking Lot
This parking lot hangs warm and queasy
balanced on my shoulders
ticket stub headstones
growing soft and mildew-ridden in the night
dumping ground
for steering wheels operated by dilated pupils
my pupils covered
by heavy eyelids
his fixed icy
above icepick jaw
spider fingers
willow talons
dropping the swear jar on the floor
shattering at our feet
this parking lot:
a wilting graveyard
for every elephant in every room

When we kissed here
I knew what it was
to stand inside the diorama
I spent my sixteenth year building

When we kissed here
you were the king of dust
and I wanted to keep you in a vial
dangling from my neck

That summer
the fashion was shirts
that you could slip your hand up
and your denim jacket

My hands were never meant
to fit yours
but I cut off my fingertips
with hopes that they could be

Video store
Cardboard and rubber
in a duct tape kiss
“this is my home”
“don’t you recognize these titles?”
“don’t you recognize me?”
“you kissed me,
so I assumed that you would
pull my memories from my ears.”
pushpin in sole of foot
pushpin in one side of tape measure
stretching to see how long
I could lie just a little
while you cracked your knuckles

This store smells like ice cream
that you’d never eat

Movie theater
toy train temple
of popcorn in brown bags
and movies your grandparents went to
on their first dates
where their pants were sewn closed
and every conversation had subtitles

cookie tin doghouse
of green smoke
salty lips
heavy eyes
and buckling hips

My car
The smell of you
is a ghost
I only remember
with my eyes closed

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