sirens and cigarettes
feels like March ’05

everything was wet. even the birds were yelling at me.
loud squawks from the tops of houses my dad could buy out,
when he felt like a “new chapter”.
the clouds were moving fast, challenging my feet
but i had no real destination
I wasn’t going back to that bench
i glanced down alleys and into open garages
for any shelter with a roof from the rain
the rain picked up and my cigarette wouldn’t light
[even nature was telling me that I was just a child]
and i felt like it
i wanted to be saved
i had no where to go
i turned his house number over in my head,
though i knew he surely wouldn’t be home
4361681 4361681 4361681
but this is what he expected
he knew that when i did finally contact him,
it would be in a situation like this one
so i didn’t call

i kept walking, tapping the street signs
a car passed me and a little girl stuck her
stubby nose against the glass to get a better look
i looked like hell in a hurricane
she had read stories about girls
who looked just like me
i decided the only place to go was that bridge
so i went
and i sat
dry but not warm
i stared at my phone,
wondering why i wasn’t getting text after text
of Erik begging me to talk to him
reaching for any sort of communication
my phone was still, i held my lighter
under my hand for warmth
it was silent still
i texted him one word, “alright”
yeah, that would get him mad
he hates one word answers
he’ll want to save me now
then i glanced up and looked across the water
i have grown up with this hague,
and it knows me well.
it has stayed the same, but i have not
i have grown, i have improved
and i didn’t need to be saved
and Erik knew that too, he wasn’t desperate
he let me decide when i needed saving
he wasn’t going to chase after me
like the others did
he’s exactly what i needed
so i called him, tossed my cigarettes
into the hague, forever leaving
my memories in its murky waters
and got into his jeep


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