It pricks the arms like poison, knowing that some things, once chosen, are yours and that meanwhile the night comes much too soon this time of year. There are things you will not be allowed to say. You think them anyway, until they become you. The two boys in shirt sleeves are in the street again, skateboards balking where the sidewalk buckles in geologic fault. They seem mirthless, as they yell and fall and the cold mist tries to veil them from passing cars.
Yesterday’s storm slammed the leaves to the ground. Hiss, hiss, the tires go, against the scraps of piano music, not Chopin today, from upstairs. Someone tried to understand you once and he’s dead, though not from trying. Clunk, clunk, goes the landlady’s daughter, trying out her new boots on the back stairs.
Things have narrowed to a point and no gorgeous diction can get you out of it. There’s just the flats of your feet, willing each new step out of empty pockets where change, keys, pens once rattled. You threw them into the bushes on the next block and then came home with the grey linings hanging from your jacket like socks. You forgot to check the mail and when you opened the door you brought the night in with you.