It’s a card or a chocolate or a flower. It’s a presence. It’s once a year, unless you make an effort. Not everyone does. How I forgot to show you how to hold an axe. How will you start a fire? But you forgot to tell me how to live without you. It’s how it’s not even, but we can pretend. It’s an obligation. It’s the relief of your face untouched. It’s till death. It’s how I
sent you into the bright with no food. It’s how I didn’t wait. It’s how I said yes I’m sure. It’s someone you’ve never met but you know they’re special. It’s ignoring their messages. My clever girl, it’s how you left me first. It’s how quickly I accepted your ghost. I tuck your brother in and I turn and you are yawning and prickly. Your handprint so soft I only see it
in the dew of a midnight water glass. The pink mitten of your tongue awaiting the press of a vitamin. I dream of flinging a net into the nightlight and pulling you down. It’s how you have to forgive your mother. We know best, otherwise we’d never sleep a blink. My red red girl. And yet I see you in the dark unhollow tunnel of my voice. It’s Cabernet and trembling
thighs. It’s trite, commercial, overhyped. It’s how if you trace the bolt of my cheek it takes you back to Salome, Katherine, Worm. It’s a map I cut you out of. It’s how I don’t even know if I’m allowed to miss you. How even now the skin itches to reunite. How even then it begged to come apart.