Poetry — December 27, 2018
Poem & Photography
by Mikaila Baca-Dorion
It’s just easy for them
This couple on the train.
They walked on laughing together
And I felt that familiar something-
Looking at them feels like looking at one of those
Where the stairs keep going forever in a loop.
Easy for them.
It doesn’t hurt anymore, that thought,
But thinking it feels so odd in my mind
When I can’t imagine loving someone without
They fit without having to carve anything out.
They fit without punishing each other.
They fit like puzzle pieces cut from the same board-
No worries, they just go together, and that
They fit like
I can’t imagine what it’s like
I can’t comprehend it-
Much less to fit somewhere
I am always trying to corset myself into this world,
Trying to remain small enough to squeeze by
Catching myself by the wrist to keep from reaching
And if there seems to be a spot where I might be able to exist as I am
It is always
Like a shiny pinprick
That thought hurts-
Not like the others it is newly cut
And still bloody.
The idea that maybe there is a home for me
And that maybe I was too late for it.
He says something clever,
Passes a hand along the small of her back
And she leans into it,
Smiling because she loves that he wants to touch her innocently.
They seem to exist behind glass.
Not for the first time I wonder
If I could just slip into that life
Like a drop into an ocean
I want it badly
I want it stupidly
And I examine all the parts of myself,
All the edges and cracks,
All the things I’ve worked so hard to protect and repair.
It is not a welcome sight-
I am not a home
I am like an old ruin
Full of murmurings and cold spots
Full of dusty sunlight.
Knowing the secret I keep so poorly-
That if I really had a choice to be otherwise
I would have already made it.
I couldn’t reach them if I ran for a thousand years,
They are too far away.
They walk off the train, arms linked
Talking about nothing
And I watch them go
Like a hallucination,
Like a mirage in the desert.
Her perfume smells like forgetfulness
And it lingers.