THE FIELD GUIDE PROJECT: Salt Lake, Part I

TEXT & IMAGE: Saja Chodosh

In my Room

One night we dressed in your parents’
Christmas sweaters. I was too high
at the party and broke pita into trail
crumbs while he stroked my back
for you while you wandered the streets
with a rising chest, blew white smoke,
called bird words to me from the kitchen.

Later the world would roll
off me and I would gather myself
and all the crumbs beside the couch
and let you drive me home
in the silent December:
white nectarine frost.

I would let you into my house
as I did all nights. We would flock
the basement, to my corner room,
my single bed beside the ice
clung window—never made,
covers strewn, sheets foot-
pushed to the bed’s end.
We would nestle in—switch
on the space heater beside
the warped night stand
and mouth forgiveness for
minutes before kissing, bowled
into each other, wrapped breath,
heating skin, ankles clasped, soft
scratch, lip bite, rested on the feeling
of home, hands clung,
names crooned,
blurred grasp.

Here, the world
seemed whole—held
within the thin, woven
branches of a nest—
warm as the coming
spring: stray flights,
natural pledge.