Monday, April 17, 2006

An early 18. Stop bothering me, you with the constant higgling pressure.

You Practice Your Leaving

this photo is at the bottom of my purse
in an envelope I stole from work:

your shirt off, hunched forward on the couch
skin brown as Tennessee floodwaters
black tufts of hair like random thumbprints
here and here

you hold the cat up to one side
next to your face, she dangles limply
her fur swirled like it’s been in someone’s mouth
she looks absently down at the floor

you turn your head in the opposite direction
pretend to smile, your brow furrowed
your eyes elsewhere

the background’s a green domestic jumble
pillows and paintings, a broken chair propped
up on library books, a boot or two

and I know beyond the edge of this photo
lie your dark furred shins
still shining with precise scars
like flesh staples from your surgery

from that time you wrecked yourself
on your motorcycle
and forgot all our names, for a while

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