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In an effort not to crawl back to you, I crossed the 2 train off my subway map in blue ink,
called it a river, sold my canoe.
Swept the soot from the chimney into a vase, scattered it all over Manhattan. Husband, I
pretended it was your ash.
Spoke your name in past tense and still, when we found ourselves in the same bar,
phoned a mystic. Told her I was seeing ghosts.
When you confessed your mistress, her red hair, her scars, how you learned them from
up-close, from inside out, you were no longer the man I married but a dead deer in the
center of our swimming pool.
Our dog has always considered you a burglar. Knew to spit, bark, bite before I did. Once
while you were sleeping, I stitched her electric fence through your skin. I wear her shock
collar on nights I go out drinking, on days I can’t find a reason to stay away even though
you have left so many behind.
I’ve watched you with other women. The way you hand fruit to supermarket clerks, how
your eyebrows lift at anyone with fake nails. Your favorite party story is how you once,
publicly, pleasured a girl with your band mate’s drumstick. It’s no wonder we don’t
love the same music.
On our first date, I bought a dress off a woman in Brooklyn so I could stay with you one
more day. Last week I threw your clothes from our roof knowing they would have fallen
faster had there been a body in them.
When I found a picture of your ex-lovers tits, used as a bookmark, I began opening every
novel upside down like a teenager shaking birthday cards waiting for cash to fall out.
This explains my love for fiction. We were never married. The dog is not ours.
While washing the dishes I watch from the window as the children we never had drown
in the piss-filled pool. I’ve never tried to save them. I invented that pool, this sink.
Did you know that the metronome inside us quickens when telling a lie? I want to build
an honest house, where the motion detector is so sharp it knows when my thoughts leave
the room. Where the clap-on lamp works as a polygraph. When you swear you still love
me, the lights flicker.
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