i know she’s one of those people who wander
into the laundromat
because they have no place else to go
a dollar bill into the change machine
cuddles quarters and looks
like she’s there to do wash
she gets a cart and sneaks
an empty box from the trash,
a box that once held laundry flakes,
so people would think
her laundry was in the wash
she sits there in a baby blue hoodie
that tents to a point like a witch
but i know she can’t be a witch
not with eyes that look like she’s been through hell
she has a cell phone
the faster her fingers text
the more her brows knit
she puts away the phone and closes her eyes
i can tell she’s thinking hard
thoughts that intensify and disinfect at top speed
but she’s not coming up with anything
she gets up, leaves the cart, and drifts out
and i’m pretty sure she’s
thinking like i am
and wants to throw the whole damn world
out the window
along with the music he left behind
When I was 12 I told a boy I loved him. He stared and didn’t say a thing. I didn’t know what that meant. Was it good or bad? Did I surprise him? And if I did, was it a good surprise? Or would he run home and tell his mother? Or, worse, would he tell his friends and they would laugh about it.
I didn’t know who I was when I was 12. Was I good looking or bad looking or did I look just like everybody else? Why would someone pick me out of the crowd to love? What did love even mean? I felt it—at least I thought I did—but I didn’t know what it was all about.
We, me and that boy, grew up together and in time we fell in love until one rainy day when we were all grown up he told me he didn’t love me anymore. I asked him why but he didn’t have an answer. He said something about “time”—like “it’s time” or “I need time” or something like that. But I wasn’t listening too hard. The sound I heard was my heart beating really fast. I too needed time.
I blamed it on the rain. I was sure in my heart that no one ever does anything mean on a sunny day.
That night my brother died in a car accident. He was drinking because his girlfriend broke up with him. I knew he was drinking but I didn’t know why
until much later. I blamed his skidding on the rain
My boyfriend ended up coming back after he heard about my brother
But my brother never came back.
By then it didn’t matter. I had learned a lot about the rain