Chapter 267: [You Are] Long Distance Bills [That] Fill the Gaps in My Diary

There is a series of Photographs,  all of which in entirety could never add up to the negative spaces in between.

Trouble holds Nicolina like a trophy.

Nicolina’s sister captures them sleeping on the couch.

Trouble sleeps in Nicolina’s bed.

She can’t even cry anymore, or even begin to utter his name because she flinches and feels ashamed because strong girls don’t dote on lovers who leave.

Not even the ones who used to spend dormitory afternoons naked, drinking tequila and watching old comedy skits.

Or ones who had marched with her hawking loogies screaming “and spit like a man!” to empty streets just hours before the ship sinks.

She tries to pretend like Trouble never existed, that the story was one that she imagined.

She’s gotten good at it too,  no one ever sees him hidden behind her new curtains.

Shed dresses his tomb in soft linen and dried flowers.

chalks him up to overcharges for minutes, seconds, generations and inches translated into metrics of static.

DMV lines of communication, Non-stop pop up advertisements for diet pills, and sexy singles near her.

as if her chest was a porn site where Trouble was coded and launched in the dark web.

a Malware she attempts to short circuit, drowning him in Blue and Orange pills when its been so long not even tears can keep her company.

The problem with trouble is that before him, Nicolina was still a naturally grown forest.  After Trouble, she is merely trees of the same age planted in straight lines.  Trees that say “I was once a fertile place where life grew into me and I to it.  Then I was a field, sowed, reaped, and worked by kind, strong hands that did math at desks in the dark while I rested.  I was once soil that fed the hungry.. now I am left to tend to saplings between brick walls.

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