My ribs stitch when I hear the words “New Hampshire” and “New England” and “New York,” and every time a sleepy song croons about coming or going to or from a home like the ones where my heart and I parted ways.
The East Coast’s timbre echoes in the empty places, the silver-tone mornings spent on trains, the sixteenth floor hours after work.
I feel deadened and dried and salty like driftwood. I feel lined with feathers from where that beating thing in me doesn’t have any flight left in it. Starved.
Tell me I can come home.
Stop telling me everything will be fine here, because “fine” and “here” have nothing to do with each other. They exist on separate islands without bridges.
Fine is a glue that dried three thousand miles east.
Fine decreases opposite the increase of time.
I am ready to settle (not here).
I am ready to stay (just not here).
Here is an irony that after more than a decade of moves and literal reckless abandon – wrecking and abandoning – I need only one thing:
Take me home.