Just the Other Stuff

When I ran away for the first time
I hid in my closet in my bedroom
with Judy Blume and a flashlight
until my dad found me and brought me home.
Matter seemed so solid and still then.
The second time I skipped town
I hopped on my red ten-speed bike
and took to the Village Mall bookstore
where I sat steeping and stewing in
the scent of new ink and paper and
Salty Pretzels until I lost myself
in The Secret Garden. A man who
smelled of moth balls and coffee
asked me if I planned to buy the book
or just steal the words without
paying for them. There were gaping
spaces between his pieces and parts.
The third time I left I was a dancing woman
in a silk dress and a floppy straw hat
with purple flowers. I camouflaged myself under
the slopey ceilings in my Nana’s attic
walk in closet by the teeny window
with Jane Austen, some robins on the roof,
and everything I owned packed up
in my heart. I may have melted or boiled
that day. Yesterday I left and
No One knew. “What is it? Something new
this time or just the other stuff?” No one
has never seen a person swirling away
atom by atom. I would have unpacked
my heart with Elie Wiesel with my notes
in the margin but he ran away during
the move. Instead I limped down the driveway
and back with Luna and then ordered Elie on Amazon.
I am shifting. Between my words there is so much
space and I am lost among them.

“Beautiful woman swings near waterfall in the jungle of Bali island, Indonesia.”by Artem Beliaikin is licensed under CC0 1.0

Categories: FeaturedPoetry

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Melissa Mulvihill

Melissa writes from northeast Ohio where she lives with her husband and sons, 18 and 22. She has been published in multiple issues of The Blue Nib Literary Magazine, Intermission E-Zine, The Write Launch Literary Magazine, Poet's Haven Digest, Strange Land Anthology, The Distance Between Insanity and Genius Anthology, and It Was a Dark and Stormy Night Anthology. Her poem, Your Phone Call, appeared in The Blue Nib 2017 Anthology. She writes about homeschooling and growing kids during a decade long battle with stage 4 Endometriosis and she shares stories that demand to be told from her childhood in Danville, Illinois. She writes for the same reason's she reads poetry-because it's crowded in her head and heart.

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