Leaving Town, in Your Sleep

It’s nearing the end of National Poetry Month, so I thought—why not torture everyone with another unpublished poem? It’s a favorite pastime of mine (unlike, apparently, regularly writing poetry anymore).

This one’s about a year old. Anyone that’s ever wanted to skip town in the middle of the night will know what I’m talking about.

Leaving Town

I packed my bags while you were sleeping.

/

I took the image of your face, half your face, cheeks stubbled and gasping.

/

I took your smell: deodorant and hair gel, wine-breath, wine-sweat—flesh.

/

I took the light, the streetlamp angling through bare branches, through the window, the thin curtain; I took the shadows on the wall.

/

I folded, carefully, your rolled-up sleeves and work shoes, your paperback and pile of black.

/

I took your arms, huddled around your head and clenched. I took the parted lips and phantom twitch, the stalking eyelids.

/

I tucked it all away, inside, a suitcase with a lock. I sent it off ahead of me, to some unknown destination, some other life, where it might find me. Where it might rattle around in the cargo compartment, my heart. Where it might never arrive, get lost among all the other bags, carrying all the other tender items, wrapped in old t-shirts and the smell of old lovers. Where it might sit and wait, in the dim corner of a dim station, to be reclaimed, reopened. Where it might grow old, in the part of me that won’t grow old, that will go on loving you like this, in this room and this unlivable life.

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3 Responses to “Leaving Town, in Your Sleep”


  1. 1 mickey April 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    really liked this alot

  2. 2 Dianne April 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Love it! i was just counting how many times i have climbed over the windowsill and left town!


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Lauren Quinn is a writer and traveler currently living in Hanoi. Lonely Girl Travels was a blog of her sola travels and expat living from 2009 to 2012. She resides elsewhere on the internet now.

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