Thirteen things I never got around to telling you

I think adjectives are underrated
and I am very particular about prepositions

I have been to Samarkand, I have seen a courtyard
decorated for a wedding, long tables set out
under the trees, all the place settings adorned
with oranges and Coca-Cola

I am not very fond
of any of my names

I have a sister, I have ten living cousins
and one dead, I know the full names
of all my great-grandparents, I spend too much time
thinking about how genes are sorted and combined

(Some things go here
that can’t be discussed in public)

I appreciate how elephants communicate,
over great distances and in such low tones
that no one but other elephants can hear them

As a child I spent a lot of time in the attic
visiting the unwanted things

I am clumsy, I can’t throw balls
or catch or hit them, I’m always falling,
I have bruises I don’t understand,
I’m always bleeding somewhere,
learning the steps of the simplest dance
is utterly beyond me, when I stand
and talk with people I’m never sure
where to put my hands or head,
I’m never really sure
where any of the parts of my body are anyway

My car is yellow,
my bedroom is purple,
I dream in color

In the first dream I remember
Dracula chained me in the attic
and flew in every night
to see how I was getting on

I don’t like birds I might just be jealous

I read the same books
over and over, always order
the same thing off the menu,
hardly ever take up
with anyone new,
do you understand
what I’m saying

I sleep on my left side. I am lying on it now.
It’s cold in this room, the window might be open,
it’s November now, it’s dark, the cat
is pressing herself into my leg, my birthday
is in February, I’m a winter child, did I mention
I’m cold, always cold, and this poem
is shuddering with cold
and terror

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