November 3, 2011

With curved English vowels
I slice souvenirs from the air.
I hang her laugh on the mantelpiece.
Her tear-wet cheeks in the closet.
As the earth tucks itself below snow
and autumn yellow seeps into soil,
plastic versions of her comfort me.
Faced with a black-and-white winter,
I stack and restack the warm memories.
Her outline thins as others’ ivory smiles
push into my heated one-bedroom.
I worry that with each invasion
her retreat will slink one inch farther.
Constant movement never gives life
a chance to bloom its pedals, she said
in a contradictory fit of wanderlust and love.
Remember? Errors are inevitable
with so much invisible inventory—
Nothing to date compares to how easily
we slipped into timelessness.
Nevermind that. Winter has almost frozen
our wide-eyed walks into regular commutes.
Her fingerprints on my spine are smudged.
In our sold-out symphonies audiences
clap but never cheer. Unstack and unstack,
hibernation bites back the skinniness
allowing muscles to emerge.

LOCATION: Lincoln, Nebraska – She now has a man, I have a girl, but it’s still difficult to accept.

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