Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

bike locks

By Molly Manafo

the birds are quieter now
and a sign on the road says PASS WITH CARE – 
what more is there
for me to care for?

pieces of the moon sink to earth
the floor slips out from under me
God turns off the gravity and the stars disappear
like a house falling asleep

strange how grief is like a bruise that appears
from nowhere – or not from no where, but a somewhere
I don’t know, lost in this in-between

you felt so safe, you didn’t own bike locks
didn’t clench your keys inside your fist
or make sure to shut the front door tight behind you
your sidewalks were all well-lit

in my dark room with the blinds drawn shut
in your absence I become the insatiable ocean
swallowing everything that enters it
remaining hungry for more
wanting for nothing, and too much

gifted with an endless supply of microwavable emotion
I fit my sadness into the boxes and check them one by one
pack them in the attic, never to be seen

this space and time between us is the closest thing to kindness
the universe could give me
what could kindness look like, now, in the aftermath of you?

when you left you took a piece of me
with you, so I think of you again and again until it feels
like a trail of bike locks, clicking shut behind me

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