we are only aware it’s winter

i drop the sesame oil stained chopsticks
to use my hand, half hidden in a black brace,
to stop them
from dying
but my father turns his face to mom
his mouth full of spinach
and tells her
that she is again wrong


she sent me a photo from connecticut
of a tumbler full of ice and whiskey

this is not a shot glass, she writes
to explain how her night is going

there are four days in the palm of her hands
and we are both wishing that they will not rot

i am tired, she says

i am tired too, i say


we are looking for a place for fire
but all we find are the bones
we used to frame that life we’d wanted:


we are only aware it’s winter
because we are standing in the middle of it
an unlit match between us

so many things that we can’t say like

i am hurting


the dog is asleep next to my bed
i tore the sheet in my sleep last night
outside the neighbors are drinking
beer, i think, or that’s what they said

i am staring at my toes above and past the horizon
of this computer screen
each day i worry that i will lose my legs

i don’t know what i’m supposed to do right now
there is loneliness, i think, but whatever

i yelled at my father tonight over dinner
because he is getting old and i don’t know what to do
so i do what he’s taught me over the years
yell at people, at things, until something happens

now it’s past 8pm
tomorrow is friday
in a little bit it will be June and we’ll all wonder
where the year has gone

i want to remember something important
but all i can think of is riding in george’s camaro
top down
somewhere in torrance

it was around 1am
there was nowhere we were trying to get to

we were just waiting
for our skin
to burn.