By Lauren Manna
I have calloused fingers:
From prying open Venus on a bad night
From wiping the white off hot coffeepots
on a coldish summer morning
when my eyes are pressing tired.
My teeth are not quite perfect and not quite ruined
because I can’t finish what I start.
I am afraid I am a mass of contradictions, and,
like anyone sane, becoming my father.
I race the clock to (not) get enough calories
by exactly midnight, and once
I burst into tears in a Wakefield pizza shop.
I am only competitive when you say
you are the most tired person in the room.
But I love
getting goosebumps over the human condition,
(well-earned paper cuts)
And when light hits; when it
diffuses dark orange-red to crisp paper shadows;
And shutting my laptop when
my contacts have been in for three days.
I am looking for a word
a tad more solid than agnosticism.
A feeling that will sit
heavier and longer in my chest
than bloating or steel (I am missing you)—
And I am waiting
to feel the light come back into my eyes.