Where is the room where I can unpack
all my shit at once and be done? Where
can I lay out the geraniums and grief
and underwear on the floor and stomp
around power hungry like a watchdog
done with work? When I was born,
was I given a place of my own, and if so,
when did I lose it? I can’t remember
the first town I lived in or the first room
I slept in or any singular moment
when I called for you out of love.
Did I ever? And if I didn’t, why not?
A small child, in a garden of tall sunflowers
and weeds, was it then I realized nothing
grew if you didn’t have a home? I routinely
kill the most durable plants now. I learned
nothing about botany or scripture. Once
though I got baptized in a hot tub, submerged
in tepid water in a crow’s nest above
the church. You weren’t there to watch me —
that year you lived in your bed — but I held
my breath underwater and saw your face:
paper teeth, button nose, a crown of hair
so jet black it looked fake. I was cold.
I wanted to go home. Later, I moved
to Arizona in search of warmth and found
scorpions in its place.
BAPTISM by Emily Lake Hansen

Photo used under CC.