I Am Always
by Joanna Penn Cooper and Todd Colby
I love how all your friends are shy. You befriend them in order
to put them at ease, make them nervous, and put them
at ease again. I'll light a candle and think of a place I've been
to with you. And then I'll stop because the wind will be howling
and the cold snap will be unbearable, mostly, without you.
Like this red down coat my mother had in the '70s.
It made her look like the Michelin Man, even with her
long hair and bird bones, and I ripped the pocket
grabbing onto her in parking lots, waist high
and desperate. That coat is gone. I drew a skull and crossbones
across the back of it with a giant Sharpie and hung it above the garage,
and then it just blew away the very first day it was up there.
The view from here is Christmas lights and gravel, and maybe
a whiff of cinnamon and cigarettes. I don't want to go home.