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November 12, 2006



I am angry
that a year has not taken the pain
He’s still here,
a spot on my happiness—
our happiness—
like someone writing words
over music
after the composer has died.


You are playing—
my head in a pillow,
eyes on a book, or
the space just over it,
the cat a warm vibration,
soft against my exposed foot.
It is too cold to sit outside,
and now too dark.
The sun sets over a few leaves
clung on trees, and wires,
dead from breaking
off too many tender things.

You don’t sing
when you play your guitar.
Not while I’m in the room.
You hum the melody, maybe.
Concentrate the world away
while your slender fingers
count their way up the frets
and down, and up,
and down, making
that delicious sound-between-sounds
of a finger drawn along
a nickel and steel string.

I am angry
that he is here.
Though, you mostly don’t hear him.
He spits through words clanging across
the page,
an interruption, ghostly,
of the harmonies we make
when I am forgetting him,
and listening.

I am rarely forgetting him.
I am rarely listening.
Though you go on playing.
And I am here, hearing.
One day. One day soon,
I will forget to speak,
the way you do when your fingers
alight and rise, in turn, eyes shining,
making something
of the very air around you.

I want to forget to speak.
And I will not need the words you do not say,
which cause you so much pain.
No more pretty lies, no more ghost.
Music isn’t written that way.

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