In a matter of seconds the ants will
wreck this new jar of honey, left open on
the stove beside a half eaten rhubarb pie.
A moment of distraction while I imagine you
dead in Phoenix and struggle to recall the
song you insisted you’d shown me. Though
I was certain it had always been mine.
Nothing about ghost you will scare me
more than that night I watched you play
cards, betting cloves against percocets,
and I felt an untested knot of longing
tighten across my throat; the unique
panic of spinning in the wake of your
list. Now you have fallen backwards
into the soft and permanent yonder,
your tired heart rounding its bend. You
have loosened to slack your lanky limbs
and soon the eddies will settle. Tomorrow
I’ll wake up in my hot skin and, likely, the
day after, and the day after that again
to ponder how I scar each finished
moment with a piece of tape and a
name scrawled across it in pen. Which,
honestly, eases the worry of your quick exit.
The event of you growing anecdotal and the
tangle of you combed smooth. Your albino
dingo. The specter in the corner of your
room. You beer thief. You lazy lover. You
once said I could never get the genius of a
particular lick and, boy, were you right.
But in the violently silent aftermath I
stretched into my bare curves like a
patient river. Like a river full of purpose
and potential. Before I let the music in my
mouth be replaced by the prayer of your people.
Before I began to measure my grace on a scale that
was not my own, that song I was shown became just
another indelible thumbprint. A dime sized bruise
left behind one afternoon made of clumsy grips and
stripping while the record played out and the breeze
picked up and the day’s fever was finally broken.