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“Common Ground”

I loved your big windows

And your bright living room 

And the way I could dance on your smooth, hardwood floors

You opened your doors

And I brought in my boxes

And you helped me carry them up the stairs

I did not want to take over your place

But I wanted to put my flowers on your kitchen table

I wanted to leave my paintings above the bed-frame

And you let me.

And at night I would walk down your hallway and listen

To your clock ticking to the sound of my heartbeat.

But I had moved in too soon

Too fast

And too heavy

My flowers got dry and thrown in the garbage

My paintings: put back in my box

You told me it was time to go back to my house

To grow my own garden

To light my own kettle

And you offered to walk me home.

You had been there before

But not in some time

And I was sure I could help us find it.

We left your front porch and I stared out in silence.

“Was it left or right?” you asked, but I did not know. 

My house, was it near here?

Was it two stories? Or blue?

Was my bed near the window?

Were my shelves full of books?

I told you I wanted to find it alone

And you gave back my boxes and went back inside.

I could not find it. I had forgotten.

I knocked and I slept at a small red house

But I could not fit my boxes

I didn’t like the smell of the sheets

I rang the doorbell and ate dinner at a narrow grey apartment

But the chairs were uncomfortable 

The lights were too dim.

I wanted to go back to the familiar sound of your clock

I would sleep in your bath-tub just to dance on your floors

But you had other guests

You changed your locks.

And so, I began building.

I wanted floors like yours but two shades lighter

I put in windows like you had, but I drew my own curtains

And soon, my mail came to my doorstep

My bathroom smelled like sandalwood

My potted plants grew greener

And I am not ready to come back for the bracelet I left on your night-stand

And I don’t want the mud from your shoes on my doormat 

But maybe I like that you taught me how to adjust my thermostat 

And clean out my basement

And maybe you miss me running your faucets

And folding your blankets, your towels.

My house is built on our common ground

But you do not live here

And you may never see the colors I painted my window sills

You may never hear the funny sound my laundry machine makes

Here, I grow my own flowers.

Here, I have my own seeds.

Mia Kalo comes from San Francisco but she was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. She's a Linguistics and Cognitive Studies Major and French Minor and would like to know if she could please pet your dog.
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