How Some Things Fit
Natalie Lampert

One of those nights, somewhere
between windows open? and floor heaters,
hints of burning wood and day-old sun:
one of us on the stoop’s first step,
one of us on the third.

We each clasp our hands, blowing hot air
into the pockets of space we create. A splintered
glass pane in the door behind us,
mimosas at two a.m. Each toast
is colder and less concrete than the last—
toast to my three-month anniversary fleeing La Paz,
you leaving your abusive father

toast to the southern freight train rumbling by,
82 rusty cars certain in their journey
as they shake the cracked sidewalk in front of us,
toast to the dog barking in the distance,
to how some things fit.

There should be a word for knowing
how to get somewhere but not being able
to give directions. The impulse to show
when asked to tell, the way

we spill stories with our eyes closed
because we can’t see the part of the sky
where the moon has its door otherwise
or where else we could go if we had the chance.
He hit her and you until one morning
you walked away and she wouldn’t follow;

Morales grips my country so tight,
my family couldn’t follow me if they tried.
We sit and wonder about dynamism, why
moths come out when it rains, and how taking refuge
in each other is how we know to feel safe.

Across the wooden tracks, globes of street lamps
illuminate broken, yellow lines. Between bloody rallies
and broken families, the leaving has settled
in our shoulder blades,

and this is the way it is for us,
our porch lights off and free of bugs.
Home gets caught in the back of our throats,
chattering lips unable to close on that glowing, warm syllable—
we watch the air carry away our breaths

it is everywhere except exactly where we are
and we cannot move
and we cannot help but move.


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