I wait for whatever I was when I was young.
Maybe it was more than torn linen,
urine-soaked sheets, black mold and toast with butter.
Idle oranges, separate the pith from the zest, radiator dry.
And as idly, the angry spot on my back, red and worn.
I pulled my flesh apart with my own hands to stop the scream of it.
If not myself, the crinkled edges of lined paper, snapped hair ties.
I scratched the pus out of my cheeks with my fingernails.
The scars still ooze, but rest easy when I leave them so.
Night sweat and swallow dead dog hair, heavy air,
shower until it all cooks clean, blotchy chest and close-bitten fingers.
Beat thighs with fists to bruise the bone to feel, too much ibuprofen.
But ripped cotton t-shirts to sleep in, the old clean smell,
new bread, a strong wood table, wool and the warmth of socks.
Whatever I was when I was young is there between
two rangy hounds huddled in a big bed, ice cream stick
and figure-skating re-runs on public television.
© 2015 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.