Im not sure how to juggle days off.
After twelve hours I am finally sitting at the computer.
A green, wool blanket over my bare shoulders,
I took my crop top turtleneck off.
Tonight my body odor smells like musk
and dank basement.
My environment seeping into my glands,
I’m not even sure where I’m at in my cycle,
memorizing my scents day by day
to keep better track for next time.
For the next time I’m so full of nervous energy
that the clack of a cabinet door closing
(a cabinet door that I pushed shut)
makes me jump.
I ran back and forth over the same stretch of city
three complete times today
and accomplished essentially nothing.
In the midst of round two of this schlepping
I noticed my rosemary bush was dying.
There was a silence.
First a silence of noticing. Receiving.
Then a follow up silence biking home for the second time,
the wind ceased to resist
and a thick soundlessness clogged my ears.
It felt like the moments before death in a film:
the images persist in their movement,
death introduces herself stripping one sense at a time.
The loss of sound is the threshold to total nothing.
The bush came from the farmers market
Logan square, early spring.
Or was it longer ago?
How awful to think of how recent that might have been.
Anyway it is dead.
Or dying, I decided now was the best time
to tote it to the alley and say goodbye.
Its tentacles like tendrils of well-groomed hair
tried to make the most of the basement windows
I saw their effort and whispered,
“I see you.”
The rot came from the back and crept it’s way forward.
I bumped my head on a low hanging pipe
on the way out with the plant in my arms
like a baby or a bundle of pillows.
The clock on the noggin shook loose
a visceral memory
of beating myself on the head in the midst of panic.
I use to hit my skull with my knuckles
sometimes ripping my hair out.
A few times I did it in front of people
like a wild animal, feeling the most potent hatred
(always towards myself).
Im not sure if it was the memory of where I’ve been
or the realization of where the plant was going.
On the first really cold day of the new season
it would no doubt be confused in the alley,
the wind especially harsh today,
and what of the night?
I imagined a family of squirrels descending upon it
plucking it dry to season their garbage.
that made me cry.
Either way, I did cry and quite a lot.