(the front door of my apartment building closes behind me)       a hot restless night in August touches my face   neeerr neeerr of tree frogs the first sound in my ears        (distant gray thunderclouds outlined in orange light)       I walk up 22nd St. to Nicollete Avenue   I pass people and imagine them as friends and lovers       (diesel exhaust mixes with the smell of a carniceria)        as teachers of all that I have never known       (neon signs in Spanish)   (fluorescent store front banners in Vietnamese)       I look into their faces, but their worlds and their dreams pass by me       (these eyes open)   (these eyes close)   (a few steps more and the cool soapy smells of a lavanderia)       I approach a couple arm in arm   they stop talking suddenly and look into my face in silence   in their silence I see my loneliness       (quick shouts in Spanish, loud laughter)       wrapped together I walk along with my disease          my diabetes, it’s unreachable chains       (my reflection moves across the dark glass of an empty store front)       my missing stories, I look for them in the place you didn’t see me   the party I didn’t attend that night   the kiss you never felt   this kiss I was burning to give       (the puddle of water beneath a humming air conditioner)       I was in convulsions   you were freaking out       (an elderly Vietnamese man smokes on the step out front of a noodle restaurant)       my wounded parts, always still healing   and my anger all these years, undeliverable as addressed     (he doesn’t even notice me as I walk by)        my shame, and his friend addiction       (the traffic light turns green)   (a high strung roar fills the air)       the promises to myself I can’t keep       (3 red Ducati’s race up the avenue)   (a sign reads ‘no hiring at this job site’)       my sleepless nights lay beside me whispering endless loops of what might have been and what I can’t forgive       (2 fixie boys rush through the intersection quiet as birds under a red light)       my loneliness takes my hand       (an empty lot full of dandelions and a fractured concrete slab)       and asks me do I love myself        (I stop at the diner on the corner of 26th St. hoping to flirt with the cashier)       if I loved myself my loneliness promises me   I won’t ever be without love again        (but she’s been gone for weeks)       I pay for a beer and sit alone out front on a sidewalk table       (gaunt hipsters walk by me with pointy shoes)   (their pretentiousness lingers in the air)        I gaze back on the empty lot   the dark glass and my reflection       (half healed pieces, dreams only started, left cracked and busted)    (soft warm thunder from a distance)    (I walk away)       I’m further down 22nd St. now       (the smell of curry and clean laundry wafts down from the open windows of a high rise and mixes together in my nose)   (I imagine a crumbling high rise in Mumbai)   (the very same smell wafting down over me)       I wish I could share this with her  I imagine her   she whispers baby do you love yourself yet and disappears       (baby you were never here)       you can if you want my friends say       (2 young women pass by me, each laughing into a cell phone)       you can if you want my loneliness says       (lightning illuminates a towering thundercloud)       I stand before the front door of my apartment building