I never asked myself about you. I did hope, though, that May-
Be you would remember this empty room. Believe me, I never
Wondered if you would return. I knew. (T)Here
The sun rose at 8. Once upon a time, the
Sun bloomed at 8 too. Now that plaster
Painting isn’t worth the trouble. Dirty brushes and stir-
Red colors aren’t worth the wash. As soon as
You left you said goodbye and if
I had just stood up to say “no”… You le(f)t me in
A wardrobe of wilting aloe, plastic flower crowns and pain.
I broke with the door hinges; laughed about it, that May-
Be If I wasn’t so frightened or if I had never
Given a fuck I wouldn’t be the only one to hear
My heart-beat. May-be the
Cold clouds of a Florida summer wouldn’t click like roaches
In an empty moving box. I wouldn’t let this falling
Slush remind me of all the paintings you did take with you. Like
The crow who eats too many berries, and falls fat,
Drunk and remembering— may-be then I’d learn to enjoy the rain.
 Last words in The Ballad of Rudolph Reed by Gwendolyn Brooks
Daniel Crasnow is a multi-genre writer and scholar at Stetson University where he holds a Sullivan Scholarship in creative writing. He has been awarded a scholarship to attend the DISQUIET International Literary Program (2018) and was a resident at the DISQUIET Azores Residency (2018).