breathe in:

wet salt,

 

bedsheets,       inhale through

the mouth

eyes kept

empty

or closed,           whether open or

hands

crush empty pockets

release it

at the keep

 

I walk

the summer broken

signs and cracking streets

early dark thunderstorms and

 

I think

clothes

are changing shape

and not in size      stuffing pockets

unclaimed grace

my footsteps,      my reasons

are sterilized

my city,     kitchen shelves,      bedsheets

are both kept

and left

 

back on the nightstand       cigarettes

wallet,         sickly with welts         is bedridden

phone          is now nowhere near the answer

pick me up and unleave me, said us

to the other          is now somewhere near

useless in our like-mindedness          keys, reluctantly

stuffed into my back pocket

the strategy         - empty entrance

a kept home

 

 

but now,

put it off             I walk,

carefully around the edge of summer,

wet            salty             bedsheets

unresponsive           employers

unwanted               hunger

 

unwanted

hunger

fall in love,          unchecked keys

in empty pockets, and

 

yours?               unfeathered

grace                 will come

at a price          the keys

found                and kept

to make moves

                          (moves are

                           not necessarily

entrances)        ridden of the

pockets             of their

homeliness        ownership

safety               love

expressionless   to help me

walk

This is not true, practically speaking.


Once a week or so, I must hunt amongst old books


and on top of an oak chair with a broken wicker seat


turned sideways from a desk no longer used except


(to hold dying cacti and succulents reaching for the light)


for pants and shirts worn day after day


covered in clipped white whiskers from


my husband's beard or


splotches of food that fell during breakfast


or lunch or supper, and I feel like a thief


emptying his pockets of that which he now deems


significant: plastic spoons, packets of sugar substitute,


small envelopes with hearing aids, eyeglasses cleaners,


a useless leather wallet and enough tissues


both used and unused to comfort more than


someone would need with a simple cold or sad day.

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