Darius, I've Stopped Imagining Things
In the motel room,
I see my mother's flares, two-stepping
in the curtains. My dad's perm
in the carpet-
chunk, lifted by the skirting
boards that widen towards the corner:
the left trumpet sleeve of my mother's tie
dye shirt – if I put my hands into the hairspray
slings like hers – splinter
and nail, touched his face
against the clock, the floor would turn chestnut
and I would still be
copper. The 70's
came here a little late;
Dancing in the Dark plays: old lightbulbs
skim my body, draw assumptions
of movement onto the wall.
A mattress, acoustic
like their Manta's reclined
back seats, seven cable
bracelets around the elbow
of a lamp – the light of my father drives
in the yellowed shade.
Tussles, like the curve
of his receding hairline.
My mother's crochet top hangs in the door
window of the bathroom. A joint
she swears never to have smoked
is stacked by the sink; rolled soap, lit
white, bubbling –
My mother keeps her long hair.
The delivery room blossoms twice
with blue balloons, budding-
basin haircuts and toy cars
like a pebbled path to the play room.
I have not even been a kiss, yet.
When you call
with an unknown number,
there isn't anyone here
to imagine it's you.
Nadine Klassen (she/her) is a German poet and author of the chapbook Bruises, Birthmarks & Other Calamities (Cathexis Northwest Press, 2021). He work focuses on identity, mental health and relationships. It has been published by The Write Launch, Kissing Dynamite, Abandon Journal, and others. She lives in her hometown with her fiancé and their dog.