I MISS YOU LIKE THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY MISSED TOM CRUISE DURING HIS EYES WIDE SHUT PHASE, WHICH IS TO SAY, "ONLY AS MUCH AS ONE CAN."
My bed is a mattress on a floor and this place has cockroaches
I am worried about the slickness on the sides of the shower
I think it is mold or fungus and I think that spores of one or the other
are growing in my lungs.
It certainly feels like it is happening,
and all of the smartest people say
that we are supposed to trust our bodies.
I am worried, again, that I have a Vitamin C deficiency
I buy oranges at the 7-Eleven often enough that the cashier recognizes me and
says nothing, but nods.
We have a pact, maybe.
I also buy cigarettes often enough that he no longer asks for ID.
On second thought, that could explain the feeling in my lungs.
I didn't used to inhale, you see.
Every night I sit on the fire escape
the only part of this place that smells clean
and I eat my orange
and I smoke my cigarette
and they both go down the same—
sweet, and scalding, and secret.
And the only traces they leave are on the tips of my fingers,
covering up the places of me that have grazed you
time and time
and never again.
Kaitlyn Tiffany is a serial intern and editor in chief of Kitsch magazine. She puts spaces around her em dashes because of The Cornell Daily Sun.
Illustration by Emma Trithart