February 17, 2017


I hadn’t opened the window
since you left me. I’d kept
the poison in plain sight
on the table. I’d built you
an altar on the living room
floor out of soft white Kleenex
and betrayal. I’d never let the
cat near your shoes.

Then I disobeyed Mary Oliver
and walked on my knees for a
hundred miles, repenting. I
atoned for your paper-thin
soul. I showered twice a day
to wash you out of my hair. I
licked the kitchen floor clean of
your chocolate-covered mistakes.

But it wasn’t until I took
out the vacuum and dragged
it over my skin from head to
toe that I felt it pull the last
of you from inside me
and stop your dust from still
mingling with my own.

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