Stuff We’ve Lost

They say we spend 2 weeks waiting for traffic lights, 4.34 years holding the phone, 5 years waiting in line, 1 year looking for stuff we’ve lost.

One night in the car lit somewhat by streetlight and porchlight by the door behind which my mother still did whatever it was she did—

 

—Alex and I sat and waited: kin, but not by blood. In the semi-dark, somewhere between 11 and 15, between algebra homework and the boy who didn’t like me, between my fuchsia face and my father’s snort, I began to laugh at something we’d said. I laughed hard, scraping from the gut bits of interior flaking off and flying out through my mouth with spit, then I was sobbing, I didn’t know why, choking in a dark car lit by a street lamp and Alex just sat there and let me be loosed and when I was winding down, he said I did it like it oughta be done, he said I did good.

Priya Keefe’s work has appeared on a Dublin lamppost, in Seattle buses, and in Seattle City Council meetings. It has been spied in Five:2:One, The American Journal of Poetry, Outlook Springs, and elsewhere.

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