by Zachary Caballero
“Mama. What’s vacation?
Vacations when you go somewhere…and you never come back.”
TO THE WOMAN I LOVE, WHO IS STILL ON VACATION
I changed my mailing address, but I don’t think that matters.
You can forget about the refrigerator magnets. Something tells me
the magnet wouldn’t attract anything anyway.
What is left of yours remains in the lost and found of who
we once were. I rummage through it at least once a week
to keep the dust a dance away from deluge.
I went weeks deluded, convinced the months would
run out of ways to move forward, pretended my bedroom
would become baggage claim, and you would see me convulsing
on the conveyor belt like being yours made my blood
want to leave too, so perhaps I can’t blame you
or perhaps I just wanted nothing more than your touch
to topple me to pieces, for your hand to burn through the wreckage
and wake up a bird perched against the worst of it.
I am a coward when it comes to claiming
But still bury myself with so much baggage. This body
has blackened into a fisted ballast, a broken knuckled
ballad that probably sounds like elevator music
repeating forever, the pieces picked apart, a part
of me is still wishing you were here a part of me
still wants to be the place where you go even if it
is only to take what is left of yours
I can’t be in a room with an open door anymore.
Ajar. I know what a jar is. It’s where I pretend our love preserves itself
only the lid is always open and you are always going
bad, or back, or ahead.
Ahead. I know what a head is. It’s where I hear myself
raise the worry into bread. Our love,
a spoiled loaf, an oath that tore like a one-way ticket
stub that said everything but stay, or sorry, or
I’ll be back for you.
I don’t know where people go when they leave a place
or a person they never want to return to, but I hope the exit
wound is clean. I cannot keep caring about maps and the lines
they leave for me to follow. As far as I am concerned, they all end