by Rachel Javellana

Those were the days of the dusty floors,
of the cat and his teeth rotting out,
the stare of his expectation,
the days of walnut wood and hardwood floors

and the dust covering it all,
the rug days, the salad days,
the scratch scratch scratch and
see what sparks days,

the days of groceries and the dawn
of $1.47 left in the account
after the rent check clears,
the radiator days, clang hiss days,

the days of soup and cornbread
and trying to keep up with the dishes,
circadian rhythm days, the rhythm
and blue days, the grey days.

These were the days of the childless couple
and their strivings and their love,
in all corners their tears that rise
like spring and fade into sleep,

the days of seasons
and the pressing knowledge of the leaves.
These were the days of the first waves
of destruction,

the hospital days,
the days of Clay’s cancer kidney,
the divorce days.
The days of the jade plant cuttings

and the new plants we made,
of moving into the sunlight
the guilt of not wishing
to block its rays,

the days of the growing jade
plants gathering strength,
the miracle days of desire returning
welling up out of the ground,

turning to each other each time it was an act
of faith as it was
in those days,
the days of war in the east

and the war in us
and trying to get the words out
clear, and without spite,

even if we don’t agree on anything,
can’t we settle on this:
that we don’t wanna hurt no more?”