she ( comma
,classroom exile;
red-eyed
sunrise swallower;

)now, walks
hallways of a house
where voices forgotten
behind layers of
paint and peeling
wallpaper
tear her at edges
of perception
and her broken-engine heart
rattles.

she doesn't know
which line
is the lifeline
but
she traces
hand over hand
and reads bones like braille
to reassure herself
she's here.

she says
"my brain and my mind
want very different things"
as she checks her fingertips
for frostbite

and folds herself
into the smallest corner
of a pencil-scratch,
half erased
from the day's
list
of reminders.

she dreams of homelessness
but morning settles on the ground
like a brick into the ocean
and her into herself.