You didn’t understand:
I wanted freedom; well didn’t I have it?
You demanded to know: Why all this beating of wings?
Not in words, but the way
you stared at the floor
and nestled the cat to show
that you were capable of affection
but withheld it from me.
To you this was a question of loyalty.
Meanwhile, I was trapped in the slow-clicking memory
of my childhood, like an old video tape:
the tick of a clock, the sound of late afternoon.
At this time of year, there is no sunset,
just the deep carve of light that slowly melts away.
I told you I was leaving, which was easier
than allowing you to love me.
At first, it felt as if the sky
had been ripped off the earth, but then
I finally sensed my own existence and I was ravenous
for the world, driven outward like a bursting sap.
For weeks, I opened all the windows before I went to bed.
How glorious: the fragments of moon,
blue air and honey sun.
All that light on my face in the morning.
When the summer edged out, I shut the windows
and left. The drive was long and the sky
was filled with rain like thick strokes of ink
I hurried down the freeway,
as if someone would be there
waiting for me. And the next thing I knew:
Wisconsin. I dashed from the car,
pretending to run for cover, but secretly
praying for more and more rain.