I had an empty home once, but I can’t remember
When I left it.
I left my empty home on the corner of Runaway Bay Drive
On the second floor
Where we once thought to order dangling lights
(The bulb kind)
But the only thing that hung on our second-story
Porch was a half-holey net to block mosquitos.
You didn’t even hang it
I think I left my empty home with the wood-burning
Fireplace when my clothes stopped fitting
In the closet, because your shoe collection got too big.
It’s okay—I made room outside in spider-homed storage
Next to your golf clubs and fifty-dollar Craigslist bike.
My mom used to visit, but she never knew my address
Because you told me not to tell
My parents we were living together.
They’re irrational, you said, traditional.
I want you to know that when I left
My empty home I didn’t sleep
For 105 days—I counted.
My skin crawled
And while I bruised and bled from scratching
For eight months straight, itching doctors
To believe I had lymphoma, or blood disease, or allergies then eczema
It was you that caused the itching.
I don’t remember when I left my empty home,
But when I did, I found a home in a sport
I never played—they even asked me to come back.
I found a home with cracked windows and wind
Whistling through the construction site on 1st Ave.
I found a full home when I danced on the bar at Standard Hall
With strangers—strangers who now house me
Protect me. Support me.
I had an empty home once, where my bed laid untouched
Because your bed was bigger.
I keep my own toes warm now.
I don’t know when I left that cold, not-enough-room-for-the-two-of-us,
Empty home, but when I did,
I wrote poems
In Iceland and Ireland,
Danced with Australians
Kissed a boy—and not just because.
I was accepted into graduate school
Ran a half marathon
Held a two-day-old and never thought about your baby.
I left our empty home
Two houses and two apartments ago.
My fireplace is lit with candles.
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