“Song to a Mirror” (2011)

The Furnace Review is now defunct, but before that, they published this (no archive available):

Song to a mirror
First appeared in The Furnace Review (2011)

5/2 was the day you got good at “Whatever,”
that game of leaving-first without leaving.
You’d had the scent of happiness
over that last hill this morning,
but now it’s lost,
dispersed into untraceable atoms
across the neighborhood—

the same neighborhood where things have changed,
and M_____ and R____ stand in the yard screaming
for two hours in the morning.
“You promised me something!”
I don’t deserve you!
and you didn’t know what that meant, either,
not really.

Bending without breaking
is easier than it seems,
and more dangerous.
It leads to standing in yards at 7am
and hurling decibels at your love
who volleys them back,
well-placed arcs that shred the neighborhood
with their fictions we believe.

Nearly 40,
on loan to the planet,
you believed in “special” until this morning
when you lost the scent of that, too,
in the untraceable atmosphere.
It must be fluttering among the dogwood blooms
and Confederate jasmine—
40 feet up the pine, out of sight
among the unremarkable tree limbs:
you’re just like everyone else
and you’ve lost so many poems that way,
you can’t possibly be bitter—
maybe now you can get some sleep.

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