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hiroshima and everything after

the print of your dress
burned into
your pretty skin

the room of ghosts

one window and one door and
all of the reasons
your life is a prison

a husband you hate

a child dead before its
first birthday

every act an act of enormity
no matter how small
and every word with at least
two meanings

what you say
weighed against
how freely you bleed

where you sleep
determined by how far
you're willing to crawl

each day
built imperfectly on
all of the ones that
came before it
notes on escape

on sunday afternoon
i would call the sky

i would push my hands
through this tired glass to
touch it

i have spent the
better part of my adult life
obsessing over missing fathers
and battered women

do you remember christmas
in the year
of burning churches?

the man we found
looked familiar but had
no use for your tears

wanted only money and 
the news
that your mother was dead

and what did i say
six months later when you
finally walked away from me?


and now i love my wife
and i love my son
and it will do nothing
to help them live forever

i peel the skin
from my fingertips until
everything i touch
feels like pain

how many years will
we waste waiting for some
empty idea of beauty
to save us?

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