The faucet is leaking dear

I am counting the fat drops, numbering the water
like a sinking clock. Cold-lipped spout dripping time,
paper cup beneath brimming in beat, I pray
that the seconds might be saved and
come back. Everything, come back.

I am thinking about my best friend,
as we lie side by side in a second-hand bed,
our last sleepover before motherhood comes and
takes her. She is heehawing about some
stupid meme on her phone and all I want is to
take her beautiful face in my hands and
slap her, tell her to resist a little, to push
against the next croaking chapter because
growing up steals too many friends and I can’t –

But instead I drink, and drink and drink, gulping
this moment down into the fish tank of my rib cage
which is swimming with days, days spilling into days,
like sardines I’ve packed in for days and days, and
this is really no way to treat time. All frugal and scrooge.
My best friend and soon-to-be mother turns over and
looks at me. She doesn’t promise to not grow up but
says something about how some things change,
how other things won’t, so

I finally take her phone and laugh, that stupid meme,
and she follows me to the bathroom, talking about her stupid job,
and I sit on the toilet, say some things change and others won’t,
say this as I eternalize her attention in mine,
practice the motion of closing and opening my hand,
closing as I take this single drop of honey time
opening as I lick its sweet clean from my palms
which are sticky with a memory, and empty,
almost ready to close again, open again,
almost ready for the next to slip through,
whatever sticky salty watery bright thing, slip through.

Jessie Lian spent years sneaking lines of poetry into spreadsheets at her corporate job before re-orienting her life toward the sacred pursuit of poetry. She is still on the journey, and is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Lindenwood University and organizing open mics and workshops around the city. You can find her wandering her new neighborhood in sunny LA, or on instagram @yessietojessie.

See more of her work in 10.3

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