I KNOW YOU

By Sarah Perlmutter


The pieces of a puzzle

I gave up on last month,

waiting on my living room couch.


I know you ‘cause I saw you

sneak a needle through my skin,

swirling pink and purple

intoxicating my blood stream

with your nonsense, changing

the map of my brain, adding

a detour to your condo.


I think it was an experimental anxiety med,

but I cried myself to sleep,

woke up guilty and in love

with men with long hair and boy-ish grins

as wide as the wings I need

to fly away from perched crows

on street signs telling me,

I’m moving too fast


but it’s not fast enough


to get me where I need to be.


Where do I need to be?


I know you ‘cause you waved at me

across the street with no name

but I only stood and stared

feet sinking into a sidewalk

I don’t belong on. I was born

in another town with a name

that I forget.


It’s not the same.

Trust me.


The blue sky changed somehow.


I know you ‘cause I saw you

paint the sky, holding a roller to the air.

An artistic mad man, on my front porch

handing me

an empty paint bucket.



I think I know you.