magnolias and dust

I stood in the parking lot while they broke down the door

and wheeled you, lifeless, yet still alive, to the ambulance

spinning the beads in my pocket

and shuffling my feet nervously.

I gathered your things from the desk

and the bed

and the bathroom floor

because they wouldn’t go inside.

They didn’t see what I did…

the blood and bottles

and the shit and the plan.

The plan.

Just what I carried out in shaking hands.

And certainly not what I held in my mind

while I stared at the waiting room floor

while you expired down the hall.

Then I went along with the lie

about your heart.

It’s true, after all…

it really was weak and broken.

Just not in the way everyone thought.

And then I let them send you home with me

to live in my cupboards

safely tucked away in the dark places.

You wanted a magnolia tree

but they couldn’t let go

and they couldn’t agree

and they let you languish there

for ten long years

and forgot you when they left.

This last hard year is nearly over.

It’s a good day to lay to rest

the things that are hidden in cupboards.

So I’ll put you to bed with the leaves and the roots

and maybe in spring you will bloom.

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vague looking

something about your picture

looked vaguely familiar

as it showed up on the list

“recent visitors”

no… wait… shit.

you are more than familiar

you’ve sat at my table

for Thanksgiving

with my grandmother

yelling in her loud and obnoxious way

warmed by too much wine

making you twitch

and now you are

looking at me on a screen

without seeing

who I am

because my picture

is filtered to look like a painting

for a tiny bit of privacy

or maybe because I

was the invisible wife

his single friends didn’t notice

especially the ones that were

more friends of friends

and not so much mine

do you even know we split up?

and I giggle and think

about the words

ones I could send

to make this more awkward

we only have two friends in common

the news may not have reached you

but now you look

at my online dating profile…

the one I made as a joke

a social experiment

because I don’t believe in such things

(and yet…)

and I laugh at the absurdity

and this, my friends,

wash, rinse, repeat

is why I’m still single

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longest of darks

oh how dark and cold

you have become

year of mine

no you are not mine

I have been yours

and you have taken

every advantage

but I have learned

to bend like a sapling

and in this longest of darks

tonight you loose

by noon tomorrow

the sun will be high in the sky

and every day will get brighter

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good night

I think the meds are playing with my head

I slept all afternoon like the dead

and now it’s night and I’m awake

with a cough in my chest

that won’t be suppressed

and an ache that isn’t from being sick

I think it’s what comes from too much space

to stretch my limbs in the bed

and the knowledge that my favorite book

seems to show my face

even to friends who barely know

and the moon is so bright

so I’ll put this down and lay here

counting miles and trials and sheep

good night

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first fruits

I sink my thumb into the peal

bringing me to that moment

when the scent is released

and the juice clings to my fingers

pith and oil beneath my nails

and I hold the fruit up to my nose

I’ll eat the whole thing

but not one bite is so sweet

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attention deficit deficit

busy heads call

for busy hands

at least that’s how I see it

because one week later

I’m spinning

and can’t stop

won’t stop

so I go to the shed for Christmas lights, and root around moving things from one place to another, and clean out a bin, and discover a leak, and find some fabric I might maybe need for something someday… damned squirrels think this is their palace…

oh, look!

the clippers!

off to that mess of brush

growing up

over the chicken coop

maybe if they have more sunshine they’ll lay more eggs?

damn birds aren’t even mine

2 hours later

face scratched

hands sore

job done

I’ve forgotten you

for now

now… what did I go to the shed for?

 

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