sun again

A year ago,
I decided I wanted to be warm.
I decided
I’d save money, pack up, and move –
Maybe in a year or two –
Somewhere warm.
A place where the snow and beaded lights
Can’t suffocate my mind
And take me back –

I won’t go back.

I lost $300.
Another $20 on a train.
I sat in my car with soft music playing
And watched the midnight hour consume
Whatever was left of my childhood
Outside the church I grew up in.
(My body would burn if I went in.)

I don’t remember snow,
But there were lights
That danced in my head like dynamite
Until the final glimpse of my self-awareness
And I went home.
I don’t remember snow,
But I remember feeling cold
And, by choice, alone.

I won’t go back.

I fear the falling of leaves
Like feathery toxic things,
Pretty in the air and on the ground,
Pretty in the sky –
But only for a moment,
Til they brown and dry
And layer upon layer
On the summer in my mind;

And it dies,
And I die,
And so do the crickets at night;
So do the cicadas and butterflies –
No more open-window lullabies –
And I am,
By force,

And I won’t go back.

I will build a home of sun-beams and moss;
A fortress of pillows and sheets,
Soft things,
Instruments with strings,
Maybe sand and terrycloth –

Maybe I’ll build something bigger
Than what I was.
And maybe my problems will follow,
But I will be ready
When the chemical pool in my head erupts,
I will fight it
With kind words and sun –

Again and again.
Until it stops.

And I will be warm.
And I will not go back.