To Be Decided

by: Robert S. Colgate

I tend to always feel
like I am waiting, like maybe
if I can just get through this part

with all its partness
then my honey and his bread
will be on the other side.

For weeks I am unable to leave home
and not in a fun sleepover way
or a sad pandemic way.

I just lay in bed holding this fuss
dragging it in and out of the hole in my sternum
like I am flossing my bones.

But then there was this Friday moment where—
suddenly— I wasn’t
waiting. I was in my parents’ half-snowed backyard

in thrown-on shorts and sneakers
to let the dog out.
Evanston’s dwindling light began to bend around

the whiteness, the garage, the dog
bounding away from my chasing hands,
my slush-filling shoes.

There, in that irradiated moment of pursuit,
an overwhelming nowness washed over me
like language.

My indelible apprehension sloughed off.
I stopped caring
about keeping any of my promises—

yes, even to you, Tim. I know
whenever I write about my anxiety
you think I am talking about you

and you’re not totally wrong.
But for now
I am forgoing patience.

I am rowing with my chest wide to the sky
to let sunlight enter through the thin red marks
scored down my neck.

I will be stretched out with bleach
in my hair and coffee I cannot finish
in a plastic cup, watered down, tepid—

it is this momentary thing and its thingness
that I decide to care about, and then
I do the caring

because it is all I am left to do.
I am learning another incredible strength.
I am getting too good at the world.

I have never been
so excited
to look like a fool.

I actually still have no clue
what home is
or what I might look like

were I ever to get there,
but every angel that I asked to leave
was so proud of me.