“Because You Worried” by Cleo Rohn

For all the strange indigo of dusk,
for all the dust kicked up
by street sweepers in the rust
and gravel of morning,

for every midnight glow that turned
as scarlet and golden as yearning,
for the sunrises that caught us red¬handed,
for the drives we took together,

and all the ones I took alone
lining circles around the lumberyard
with La Cienega in my ears and
street light bulbs spinning out in my eyes

like river ripples, for all the time we spent squinting
over the crumpled maps of our feelings,
know that this is not quite sadness,
not in that burned and blackened sense,

not like in the past, when the charring
fingers of that feeling held me
and I wove hammocks between them
to hide my face from the sun,

but although it is not sadness it still presses
my lungs against my spine, it still blurs
my vision on the highway, it still dances
in the black and white diner tiles

of my kitchen floor,
and it is still no easy task
to bottle and cork this,
and it is still no easy task

to place it in the corner of my cupboard
and watch the dust settle in.