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We welcome scar tissue into our arms like it’s a good thing
As if it were a long-loved but long-forgotten lover we pretend never made us long-suffering
Scar tissue whose flap signals hardening and distance, both reasons to smile sorrowfully
Scar tissue whose cells allow us to survive
But at an angry and vengeful cost

Scar tissue whose existence prolongs our own as if it had an agenda despite our will to die
Whose will does it heed?

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I do not let tears well
That will come later
After the worst
Whatever it is
Always goes one way or the other
There will be a ring
Strangers will answer

I said it’s time for tragedy
And one is here
Listen.

a return to form says the review in the paper
as if today has a bearing on some yesterday long forgotten
the form is beside the point
the return a curse rewritten
something tired and already said
a return
a rerun
a curse rewritten and best left unread

A perfectly nice lady walked by today
Said I must have gotten some sun
I’d been crying
How many streams have strummed down these freckled cheeks, the chords bitter, sad tears
Rueful and grudging

That the enemy might pay!

But on the dark moonlit side,
My gaze, stone
I do not regret the tears I’ve caused
Bitter, bitter
words I’ve said in spite
Rueful and judging

That I might pay!

I am an eager child

Blue eyes lighted like candles

When you come into view

I beam

 

A moment of hesitation

As I wait for you to return the adoration

Surely you’re happy to see me?

who would choose the fate of fire
the apathy of plunge
blade for blood

in the face of death
some of us shine
brighter
as if destruction was our calling
in life

Tonight I break my silence. This is my open letter to you.

You will always be remembered as a vapor
the heat-wet rising to fog the mirrors,
blurring distinction:
When I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw you, too.

But that’s not true
I saw a mirage and what I wanted to see
Last I looked I saw nothing ajar, nothing amiss.

Sentimentality is lost on the broken-hearted.
You fog me no more.

Sun dreams! You are naughty, wakeful spiteful dreams!
Leaving no trace but a whisper, a whisper
Uttered by those who know but stranger to the one whose fate is sowed
In sun dreamed dreams

she came on a Sunday

left on a Wednesday

it wasn’t like it was a special day

 

she liked leaves

and maybe be leaving too

come to think of it

 

when it’s time to go

let ‘er go

ears against the wind

flipped inside out

the way they should be

 

Postscript, if there is such a thing: My beloved beagle, Poppy, has been missing since last Wednesday. She had been playing and running, a delightful sight for a seven-year-old nap-centric dog who’d had cancer (twice!) on one of her legs and an affinity for eating foods deemed “The Most Fatal Foods For Dogs.”  The wind in her ears, mouth stretched into a smile, she ran toward me before psyching me out and turning the other way. She trotted off and that was the last I’ve seen of her.

my heart is going
slowly now
it gave a good go of it
beating and all
those moments of bitter retreat
ebb and flow of blood
coming in and out of spite
until
slowly now
the organ is engorged
swollen, dying of itself
pumping painfully
ruefully spasming
giving a good go of it
slowly now

SOB with me

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