Annette O'Neil

i wonder, love, if you remember me
when you have washed me out of every sheet;
when there is empty space where I should be.

(your laughing face, suspended in the sky)
(your mouth’s sharp corners slipping into sly)
i wonder, love, if you remember me

(the life restoked by every little death)
(floodwater in my lungs but, somehow, breath)
when there is empty space where I should be

(your way of catching words like falling eggs)
(the perfect knitwork of our tangled legs)
i wonder, love, if you remember me

(the way you stand invitingly alone)
(your fire, your air, your water and your stone)
when there is empty space where I should be

(your sudden laughter in another room)
our warps and wefts invent an absent loom.
i wonder, love, if you remember me
when there is empty space where I should be.

--

--

i loved you in the worst way
.
the way that wrote your elegy
as i looked across a table
and saw,
at once,
why everybody wanted you
and
the size of the space
you'd leave.
.
because of course you'd leave.
.
your beautiful bodies
so sanguine
your belltower laughs, clanging, unignorable
the din of your belief;
the sometimes-slurring sermon of the fucking faithful.
i bit my nails for you.
.
god, i wanted you to stay.
.

your faces perch on my shoulder,
one after another.
i can feel your smiles.
and your party looks bigger than my party
from here,
howling like happy wolves
and pushing each other into the Styx.
.
but i am not there.
.
so i scan this pumping purgatory
for a secret wave-goodbye
.
and try to place my cheek against that chest
before the earth does.

--

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