Photo by Ilana Arougheti / North by Northwestern 

The oddest casualty of the apocalypse so far has been my Ikea® sheets,

Purchased at a time when I still thought neon and polka dots were cool

And signed SAT words with love in the margins of my first love’s Mickey Mouse notebooks

And couldn’t drive a car or keep a secret

And started shaving down my eyebrows because a scrawny future frat star told me they were weird.

When I left in august I tucked the sheets military-style

under the mattress in a room carefully bleached of personality. They could keep my place

when my mom came into sniff the pillow at night missing my head

While it was off getting stuffed with liberal cries and queer anger,

Pink Moscato fumes and the 2. a.m. whispers of my dearest friends.

The day I stumbled back home I kicked a hole straight through the fabric

And it frayed as I frayed.

Three weeks into stagnancy the sheets are shredded

With the agony of a fairy-tale beast first given a mirror.

Their pattern is updated with Rorschach blots of coffee and hot sauce

And the places where I bunched them between my thighs

When I tried to forget that cravings these days stop at hugs.

When hours are inches and the sun is a ceiling fan

I don’t mind if stray gauze pins my feet.

When my pillow wheezes in pneumonic protest per punch

At least it proves that my body exists.

My wild years are on hold

And I will maybe never get to debauch my childhood bedroom

With someone whose legs are too long for a flat twin mattress but just long enough for my waist

Or put my daughter to sleep under the shadows of my old posters

To snooze away the haze of a holiday dinner.

Such is the wear and tear

Of a tenant since outgrown

Her illusion of pristine.