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Goodbye Letter to My Lover’s Wife

To the one who begged for no more guests and carved a kitchen chair for me anyway:

      I took a seat at your overturned table, legs snapped and trembling.
      Licked his fingers while you stomped the dishes back to sand.
      Cried in closets for three days before you asked where I’d gone.

      He held me like he was carrying bills from the mailbox to the trash,
      but I love him like it’d make my mother sing again,
      turn my father’s voice to nothing but apologies.

      You I could watch fall in a well and (for a moment) stand still. Dream.
      But the neighbors know your shout. Make curfews of it like streetlights.
      Our man tunes his heart to this pitch then thinks he serenades me—

      I know that one. My mother’s last song.
      They’ll say I ran out shoeless, sand still in my hair.

      Some people can’t love with the knives put away.
      Now I know there are worse lives than the lonely.

      I open my hands: praise, a planet.

      Everywhere I lay, my wedding bed.



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