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I am extraordinary at getting on with
my day. The procession of debit card

swipes and Lean Cuisines. The ceremony
of accepting the bill for my poison, what ulcers

my nights. I think that maybe she would like
me to speak again, to find noise, to turn on

a radio, if there’s a radio, if it’s a decade ago
and there’s a radio in the house and I still lip sync

the words to glittered songs about leaving, about not
settling, about leaving his clothes on the curb

before there’s a his, before I’ve left or been
left. I don’t think I can do any better

than to tap my foot to the rhythm of her
breathing. She is breathing. This is

good. Maybe I should tell her that hell
is not her body, not waking in a room

alone with it. What comes out is preserve,
which reminds me too much of shame

in the house—how she sucked the night
until it bled, how the night suckered her

broke as a joke. Maybe a joke would help:
a girl walks into a bar—no, a bar walks into

a girl and says thud. Sometimes laughter
is as impossible as praise songs.

Maybe I need to be still enough
to hear what wakes in her

and pounce on its neck, make it
screech, skin it alive if I have to.