Placement of Truth by Jasen Sousa
I placed my feet
inside a pair of sneakers without laces
as I stood on the edge
of a curb where unfamiliar faces ran
red lights and rode bicycles
with flat tires. I searched for courage to ask
the Asian man inside the convenient store
who gingerly kneeled on a flattened box and stacked milk,
"How long before someone expires?
I placed my sunshine
inside an empty shoe box where it sat
on the bottom of a dusty closet floor
underneath clothes I have outgrown,
next to a box full of possessions
I could have owned: My crush's number
on the back of a folded gas receipt and photos
of children I have yet to develop.
I placed my dreams
inside of a toilet that wouldn't stop running
next to a sink that dripped in sequence
with my sticky blinks. Paint
on interior walls faded inside of a body that rejected
addiction, but was engaged
to lustful cravings.
I placed my air
inside an empty wallet next to invalid
library cards and bus passes from cities I knew
I would never visit again. I folded it shut
until I wash ready to spend my time figuring out secrets
deeper than those kept by a teenage daughter
who memorized the lyrics to her father's unzipping.
An open window wind examined my 2-week-old beard
looking for the remnants of oil that came
off the fingertips of someone who understood.