Ode to Things I Left Behind

Ode to Things I Left Behind
Ryan Skaryd

I learned not to rely on bones
and my body found a boy’s arm slipped
into a satin sleeve in a bedroom the shape of Oregon.
If I close my eyes I am inside the sand again,
buried to my neck again, able to use only words again.
Because sometimes I stand in a ballroom with boys dancing
with boys, and sometimes I hear music and boys dance
with their elbows out like wings and plastic crowns
tilted on gelled curls. My lover’s tongue isn’t where I left it.
And when the walls fell they still danced and that’s why
I remember it: a bruised sky, clouds long like ribs,
a faded photograph thumbtacked to the wall,
breath through a saxophone, ice makers kicking on,
a carpet that paints the dance below them,
a September too good to be gone.

Ryan Skaryd holds an MFA from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he currently teaches, writes, and dances. His work has appeared in After the Pause, The DUM DUM Zine, Blue River Review, and elsewhere.