All that’s left to remember is the feeling of faces,
three thousand miles from touch.
Etches left in a sketch erased:
Carefully held on a Greyhound,
folded along creases,
slipped into a shirt pocket close to heart.
That animal bore no animosity
but in a moment flared its spite,
flared the impulse to bleed its lip.
To concoct a tale of another girl, a salve for jealousy.
To take the phone that wasn’t yours to pieces on the curb.
Earlier: to take your hands and dance the hall,
hookie the afternoons (breakfast of sausage and eggs).
Unplanned nights under stars and strobes
and influences of unconfirmed cuts.
Friends that left us standing,
promises left you waiting,
waiting for some day I’d say home.
Remember the pizzerias and bars and bookstores?
Remember the poetry?
Remember the mattress on the floor, coffee-pot studio
and the smiles in the morning air.
Remember the sweet smell of hot showered skin,
Remember the jokes only she understood,
remember the outline of her tits.
Remember her race to CVS alone,
(in the rain, I was told)
and the mess of the sticks she pissed on.
Remember she squeezed your hand in alleys at night
and looked up for advice
and made your bed as you sobbed.
Remember the broken frame.
Remember when she said
“… a dog and kids and home on the prairie, love you dearly, can you open this for me I just cut my nails there’s two left if you want one, sorry.”
I’m sorry for the picture frame,
I’m sorry for the glass,
I’m sorry to be standing in the sidewalk,
4th Street, where you said you now live with one bassinet for the twins.