The rotting fish smell of dogwood trees wafts through my bedroom window and
I haven’t brushed my hair in weeks. This is a portrait with no clear subject. On my desk: letters from faraway I haven’t read, lists of unfulfilled obligations scrawled lazily in dry ballpoint pen. Reply to the texts you’ve been ignoring. Reach out to old friends. Reschedule brain appointment. I can’t get around to anything but waiting for nothing. My mother placed a glass vase of white azaleas on my bookshelf this morning, chopped straight from our yard. It was this sign of existent life, springtime life, that took me by surprise, twisting the lance in my side. It’s the smallest things that sting the most: photos of past Aprils, of stolen kisses on blushing cheeks and afternoon naps on makeshift picnic blankets, kicking muddy sneakers up to the flowered skies. I took it all for granted, orange tulips, fragrant sunsets, new romance making me act funny. How animated the world would toss and turn like that, waking up for me. How stupidly I let myself blink.

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