Saturday, July 21, 2012

Early Draft: Deep Breaths By Jasen Sousa

Deep Breaths

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.

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