Photo by Roberto Nickson from


He bent his knees to mine as my train arrived and gave me a

breakup and an “I love you” before he could exhale—my legs

still warm from his body. It became commonly performed and

recited as if it were his religion, the train stop acting as his

sanctuary. The memory still haunts me, but I move forward

with my face kissing the sky.


Winter is everywhere, and I pave the steps closer to my shelter,

pacing my breath with musical hums. I familiarize myself

with the unwelcoming scent of cat urine as I turn the door

into the apartment. She’s lying there effortlessly composing

sentences with fixed detachment, carving my presence with

an emotional landscape of withdrawal. Every word she speaks

feels like the end of a sentence. Isolation sets in, and she closes

the door behind her.


I retreat to the back door of the building and strike a match to

ignite the cigarette between my lips. Laughter and words are

exchanged below me. I recognize her voice. She never smokes

in the back. I shrug and remove myself toward the front of

the building with respect to her unspoken wish to avoid me. I

exchange a few breaths with the air and retreat back into the

place I cannot call my home. As my body sinks into a sea of

blankets, I daydream of a future where I belong.