Poetry recasts words too dangerous to write. Omissions know the truth.

I get cranky before I write. Like everything has to be perfect, like I have to burn the right amount of incense, like I have to avoid the right amount of words said to anyone, like I have to place the right amount of folded blanket under my knees and play the right Chopin Nocturne. And have the right level of pain – that pushes me, makes me a bit anxious, but not enough to distract me. Its my inspiration. She’s my inspiration. Those eyes with the impossibly long lashes, the webs of truth and age-old knowledge spun in the blue-green stare that says I love you and I will always love you, and we’ll probably never be together in all senses of the word.

We’re together as she tugs at my bones, winding and twisting, nagging at me to move, to stay still, to be in water, to get out already, to worship her, to ignore her. I can’t ignore her. We’re together as we travel from town to smile past box stores and sky-covered fields. Stay with me she hints, never saying it but with her eyes. Leave before I get busy so I can mourn your departure one more time. We know it won’t be the last.

Her name is whispered on the lips of local carnivores, licked and yearned after. Desired and reviled. I can’t do more than reflect on the right to remain silent and love in a time of punishment. Offer my hand when she is near and my ear when I am not. What we have is lasting

but

sparse.

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