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September 6, 2013 | Poetry

Remember To

Sarah Jean Alexander

Remember To photo


I dreamt about walking around Ikea by myself and buying a lime green ice cube tray. I drive to the post office and pick out a large flat rate shipping box. I put the ice cube tray inside and I see my cat walking in the air in front of me. I grab her before she falls and put her inside the box too. I draw a picture of an onion bagel and on the back of the picture I write 'happy birthday' and poke a string through it and tie it around my cat's orange mane. I write a note that says 'we can share this' and tie that note around her mane too. My cat wears two necklaces now. In my dream I pay the postage and the box ships off to you.


To-Do

  • make a to-do list and check off at least 10 things by midnight
  • dress appropriately for the weather and run 6 miles
  • drink a coffee with a splash of milk
  • put some money in the bank but not too much
  • hide the rest somewhere in my underwear drawer
  • put my boots on and then switch them out for a pair without holes on the bottom
  • spend some money on groceries
  • check 'brussels sprouts' and 'pickles- big jar' off of my to-buy list

I lie in a bed with dark brown curtains covering the windows but the sun is still lighting up your pale skin and I think, 'Wow, I feel like I am a fire next to you.' I am the last to fall asleep and the first to wake up when we are with each other. I use this time to study the colors in your beard. I use this time to tell myself, 'Don't forget this, don't forget this.' I feel mad. I think, 'I am a warm body existing next to you.' I feel your thighs. I feel safe. I feel alive.

To-Do

  • sing along to 'The Vowels, Pt. 2' while I curl my eyelashes
  • draw a picture of a fat puppy and frame it and hang it above my bed
  • hug my cat and kiss her on the nose
  • put on headphones and listen to rap music while I sit on the corner of my mattress
  • start reading the first chapter of Infinite Jest and drink a Colt 45
  • consider throwing up but brush my teeth instead
  • water my wilting plants because I forgot about them for 2 weeks
  • cry loudly and then quietly in the shower

I hand you two teaspoons of Robitussin in a small bottle cap and a glass of orange juice to chase it. I suck on a cough drop and we zip our coats up to our necks and head outside. I hear you sniff. I look up at your face while we walk, your hair and cheekbones framed by a gray morning ceiling. You are touching your nose. I say, "Don't touch your nose" and push your hand away. The skin around your nostrils is raw. You say, "Okay" and we take the L to 8th Avenue and the A downtown to Chambers Street. The sky is even grayer now as we walk out of the train station. You put your left arm across my shoulders and I put my right arm behind your back and clutch onto your jacket. I say "This feels nice" and you agree.

To-Do

  • play on the internet for a few hours or all day
  • Google 'what are these freckles on my cat's mouth she is 4 years old'
  • drink 2 more cups of coffee with 2 more splashes of milk
  • spend $65 on books using PayPal
  • disable PayPal account
  • send an email to my sister
  • try not to forget my house key
  • get locked out for 2 hours

The pier forks and we stand in between left and right, not making an effort to move from the center of all the wooden planks. I point at a circle across the river and say, "Look at that shitty ferris wheel" and you say, "That's a clock, look at its hands" and I take your hand and ask you, "What time is it?" and you look away from the clock and down at your yellow watch and say, "It's half five, let's eat." I pull my phone out of your coat pocket and Yelp the pizza places nearest to where we are and we choose the only one with 5 stars. It is raining and we are walking in the rain together. We share a zucchini pizza while wearing wet sweaters and I slip one hand up and inside of your sleeve. As it is happening, I think, 'You are something I believe in' and I know this will be a moment that I will remember for a long time and it is a thing you probably do not even notice.

To-Do

  • watch a fly try to break through the screen in my bedroom window
  • convince myself it really wants to be inside with me
  • spend 45 minutes scrolling through Netflix before deciding to watch King of the Hill
  • spend 8 minutes choosing an episode
  • eat half a slice of chocolate cake and save the second half for later
  • throw away my dead plants
  • close my eyes for three hours and stay awake
  • look at the sky through my bedroom window
  • say 'goodbye' to every plane that flies by
  • miss you
  • be okay

We lie in a bed together. It is late at night or early in the morning and your breath begins to steady. I can tell you are about to fall asleep. I slide closer to you and breathe in and smell the darkness and leftover day on your skin. You wrap your arms around my ribcage and move them up and down slowly. You say, "This is me holding onto you" and we fall asleep.

image: Andromeda Veach


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