I stare at her red shiny shoes week after week
muttering all things matting the grain
with a wet tongue like a cat, cleansing herself
of something that was never there.
I pay the bill on my way out, make another appointment
walk out in January frost pavement and ground covered
artificial white-ness reflecting benign sun or salt
bitter cold, perhaps both
dormancy and infancy intermingled. One warm tear
streams moistening the corner of my lips, mocking
all that need to be still; art of death.
In shallow breaths
the distance stretches
body caves closer to center
each fold becoming smaller
soon (if we’re lucky)
without a trace.
She sent a postcard
telling me they will file my file away
they had not heard from me in three months.
I was thankful
no formal letter in envelope
no suspense, jitters, expectations
good or bad
I was more thankful
for no phone calls
to hear that other voice
flow from my mouth with practiced cheerful-ness
polite, apologetic, plastic, bent with weight of the day.
It was only right
to send a postcard to thank for the postcard
cursive letters, one lie looped into another
I’m okay-doing great-everything’s just wonderful-thanks to you-
i couldn’t have done it without you
reinforcing it with a smiley face
no full stop, stopping
natural pull of gravity.
in a mailbox
Settling to oldest assignment
in human nature
burying myself in ruins
built with my own hands.
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