endless stiff, sore miles and wondering why my joints won’t just grind each other down into a fine dust. stopping at six and pulling my nails across my skin, panic runs and my clumsy heels smear streaks across my calves. the asphalt is sun soaked and its heat presses through my rubber soles, giving spark to every angry thought i pushed down into my heels,
only to have them burn up my bones on these panic runs. i gave you every inch of me and now you can’t even talk to me. i wish i were sixteen and untouched and everything was still exciting and new, and i hope it still burns for you too. i feel the tiny legs of a tick skitter across my bare back — i pull it off before it can burrow into my skin, and i wonder why these symbols never seem to hold any weight.
but that all feels like years ago, just little scars that i can’t stop scratching. when i close my eyes now i see blue and i see blonde. i see lakes and cool breezes and a beautiful boy who thinks he’s ten years older than he is, who makes my fingers twitch and a sigh hisses through my gritted teeth. solemn, swollen clouds sweep in faster than i can run.
my father pulls me in from the rain and he understands that i am on fire. i can’t look him in the eye when he brings me a towel, and i wonder if he is the only man i could never leave behind. i wonder in what universe it was decided that he would be so relentlessly patient, that he doesn’t even blink as i hysterically try to argue my way back into the storm. i turn on the treadmill and hear him say “adrenaline”.
lightning splits the sky in half as i watch him carefully bring my baby box turtles into the house. there have been dark mornings where i have found tiny bloated bodies floating in the resulting puddles, and seen his hours-old footprints in the mud where he turned at the sight. now i beat him to it, and i always deal with the dead.
four more miles tick by, and my sunday is over when i hit ten.