check-in.

watch the news and what’s new, can’t seem to
catch my breath before another blow, does
a lung have muscle memory? and do mine
have any recollection of what it is to feel
full? make a note in the margins, future reference,
every lifetime carries a final full breath, and
i will almost certainly take mine for granted

if you scan these stanzas searching for your
face, i have to warn you, i wrote them in
search of myself, a map etched in
a maze’s murkiest corner, night glow hopes
of where i am and where the story might just go

fresh out of blank pages, scribble meaning
into old newspaper, fingertips bruised, wanting
beyond want to believe i can
say something you will carry within you
long after i’ve said it, pull back and squint
at the letters looped over letters, the blur,
wondering what, if anything, stays

sad songs in the lonely glow of a
hotel room in some unnamed city, writing
in some anonymous voice, aching for
meaning, aching for everything, and
this heart is a hoarder, filled to the brim
with every old, yellowed story