The Night My Number Tripled

in my recent bloodwork chart, I saw it and I fled.

Panic ripped through me like sallow gas


and as an animal would,

I must have believed

I could hide from my own leaking math. Pregnancy


or tumor—those were the options

and I wasn’t sure which one I wanted

less. Around and around I went


in my apartment parking lot as if pursued

through carmine alleyways. Oh, my blood

and its mutable omens. My brain and its end


of days. It didn’t matter

that the dusk was beautiful in the early

rainy season when the sky takes


on the plush and tropical hues of stone

fruits so I could remember that I lived

in a place far but not too far


from the ocean. Magnolia flowers sat

primly in their teacups. Gray and white

birds shone where they flew like lights


off moving water. It started to get dark.

My parents couldn’t find me.

My boyfriend was asleep


halfway across the world. I walked as if to leave

behind my body, though I understood

I had to receive what it offered me.


So this is what it means

to be alone, I said inside myself

and to myself as a violet wind pushed through


the palm fronds above me, initiating a sound I recognized

like the rustle of dry grasses

before a storm, as the first


stars opened their eyes to nightfall

the way an apocalypse can mean

to reveal.