There is a woman
wearing a burgundy dress
who waits for me at the local tavern. The napkin
under her Gin and Tonic, damp as the unpaved space
behind her knees.
Denies requests to dance
as she can’t ignore movements on swollen
bottles behind the limping bartender.
Her phone sleeps on the counter, she waits
for it to pulsate like that feeling
that started inside of a thought and moved
in-between her wrist and forearm, like the vibrations
of bass that crawls down crowded walls and creates webs
amidst freshly painted toenails.
The tip is face down under the edge of the glass, the girl is eyes down
on the curb, waiting to be picked up
and dropped off into a world she is unfamiliar with.
I place the night into my back pocket
and sit on it.
I tip-toe through a vacant parking lot
accompanied by decade old gum,
oil spots, and rooftop AC's that chill
local bodegas. Before sweat
from uniform layers, before breakfast
and under the table wages.
The strap from my duffle bag digs deep
into my shoulder like the woman who
left me like a tip under
an uneaten plate.
Stubble on my face alerts me
of a day getting older.
Lack of money under my unmade
mattress reminds me of why I'm usually
the first one to arrive,
or maybe it's because my apartment
is too quiet now.
Like how sprinklers
that get turned on by dawn
echo through my hollow sheets,
or like how every item stands with a blind
stillness waiting to be picked up by a pair
of palms, I never got the pleasure
of memorizing their intricate lines.
I don't care whether my day
is long or short. By lunch, my skin resembles
a chilled glass bottle left out
in a summer kitchen without being sipped.
I don't look at the clock, just wait for a co-worker
to remind it's time to leave.
I tip-toe through a condensed parking lot
with mental dents and a bulging pocket for rent.
Oil stains and gum spots become invisible
as they are tucked in by evening.
Overworked air conditioners are turned off, leaning against
a bus stop, dreaming. That’s just
the sound of me breathing.