Breaking Through

The couch I’m leaning on was given to me
from my parents. From here, I can see everything

else I didn’t buy myself. Coffee table, VHS tapes,
red blankets, gray blankets, wool blankets,

a broken Crosley record player, accordion from sixty
years ago. Dust has graphed itself onto the leather case.

The middle cushion where I sit is sunken, it sits lower
than the other two seat cushions. Middle is always where

I am, it’s circling my veins, the middle, the middle.
 In the back seat on the way to church, or Trey’s baseball

or Brant’s football games. Always the middle in old family
photographs we dig up from a crumpled box in the basement,

like the one when we were still so young, peridot dress
matched my peridot jellies, brothers on either side, a stairs of

 heads leading to nowhere. But me, always in the middle.
The cushion creaks when I tuck my legs beneath me, I don’t

wear socks, my feet are always cold. The cat (I did buy) is
a puff of smoke on the carpet, tapping endlessly at crickets

outside the glass window. Glass keeps so much out. Spiders out
of my hair and eyes. Kitten isn’t thrilled with the idea of glass,

and why would she? Who really wants to live always looking
to what you can’t grasp? Who wants risk breaking through, cutting paper

skin along the way, the cuts run too deep. Who is going to want to
see all the shimmer and red Pollock pieces along the way?


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