“What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”
Michael Stipes’ voice blares from the black stereo on my sister’s dresser.
Calculus homework and burning incense.
My chin propped on my hands in front of a spiral notebook.
I can almost feel the flannel of my shirt,
Once my father’s,
Encircling my wrists, worn but not frayed,
Pencil scratches paper and
My finger rubs the indent as I wipe away the
Remnants of a re-thought equation
And turn the page.
I have memorized the placement of each piece of furniture
A perfect map to follow:
Beds here, dresser there, shelves, closet, windows.
Each magazine-ripped page that was sticky-tacked
Above the bed still there in my mind’s eye.
Although that me is stretched so perfectly
On the floor of that so-familiar room,
The place I grew,
I can’t remember the rug.