I walk from work to my car with my hood on,
because it keeps me distracted with drops of rain or humidity.
They sway on my face while I’m on the way,
making phone calls to check on loved ones
because it’s the minutes when I hear more voices all day.

“Take care.”
“Drive safely.”
“I love you.”
“We’ll see each other soon.”
(How late is soon?)

I’m surrounded by people who are lost
or losing their mind, and that thought
drives me away from the soundtrack of my life.
I start singing as if I’m inciting a riot,
but briefly my shouts fade out
to my thought’s distorted noises,
until my voice is a helpless sigh.
These hauntings kick my skull
until I begin sweating coldly
and brake lights shine heavily on my eyes
and I just want to get home;
but there’s traffic
and traffic is the ruler of rush hour
and I can’t deny traffic
no matter how dizzy and on the edge of vomiting I am.
I arrive in a standard stop-start
and greet my parents pale-skinned.

“Are you okay?”
“What are you feeling?”
“Let me check your blood pressure.”
“It must be something you ate.”
“You shouldn’t go to sleep so late.”
(But I just want to fall asleep
and dream of a night that works out.)

I recover my hue after midnight
with daybreak sight and flow carefree with time,
feeling unconcerned and revived.
The darkness carries a scent of past and I
embrace it as if I was tomorrowless;
there are no duties, only a seashore wave
that massages my feet, making each step light
and muting the tick of the clock until it’s 5 a.m.
and “Shouldn’t you be asleep already?” falls heavy
on my shoulders in a spring of fake blooms.

As I lay on the bed, tireless, with just
a sample of what-has-been’s on the tip of my tongue,
I only think that I don’t want to fall asleep
and wake up from past.