Seventeen boxes of tea. The banned rice cooker
on the windowsill. Blue shards from the kettle
we broke two weeks ago, fighting
over the last Oreo.
Umbrellas dripping on the linoleum
and no place to put my shoes. Yes, I know
this isn’t going to last.
This winter, the slats of your bed
fall through one by one, until nothing
is holding you up. We have no tissues,
no paper towels. You cry into napkins.
Our boyfriends break up with us
and our friend groups break up with each other.
You have panic attacks in the shower
that I have on the bus.
How are we supposed to know
what will break and what will last?
First year, you were too scared
to talk to me. I went to bed early,
in my own dorm. I never sang “Be My Escape”
at three in the morning, so loud I thought
for sure, this time, we would get
a noise complaint. I never
would have dared.
That year, we sit on your broken bed
until the last leg snaps. We take
the trash out.
We eat cake on the only birthday
I’ve ever wanted to be alive. Next year,
I will have transferred halfway across the country.
You say the green air mattress is always
mine, even though it has a hole in it,
the edges stitched up with masking tape.
Busted, whatever. It’s mine, you say,
as long as I want it.