When I was young
The march and tick and bureaucratic thump
of to-do held no sway
behind my closed door.
Hours would disappear
Summoning a future in oil pastels and wishes.
Interpellating dreams with music and tears.
My room. The hand-made desk and shelf
with peeling and blistered paint
The pillow ancient and compressed
by sweating dreams and practiced kisses
The sketches on the ceiling
about clumsy hopes
The dusty dollies watching
with impassive glass eyes
The boom-box, powder-blue
The stretched cassettes
The hand-held phone with sticking
latch and wax-encrusted listening holes
that patiently transmitted
hours and hours of adolescent longing and
The rows of journals
The dainty wallpaper, patterned roses
and ornamental lilies, stared at so often
that a crone, a savage Rochester-profile
revealed themselves in the pattern.
My room. Incubator of dreams
Spasms of desire
radiating longing for the future self.
My own children are on the verge of that age
As I perch my glasses another few
millimetres towards the tip of
my nose to write
As I contemplate the forced foreclosure of
As I find myself in my bedroom again
with nothing to do but to think
He sleeps beside me.
And they in their rooms.
I bite my tongue to resist the urge to call them out
The urge to have them close
To have them younger
They are old enough that I
remember that age now
Of longing and vibration
Of possibility and despair
Of everything so emergent and bright
But still safe in your room