By Grace Kennedy

The numbness started after her silhouette faded away,
went from trading sly smiles
and dancing as fairies
in secret gardens
and on dimly lit sidewalks
to the longest ache I’ve ever felt.

I keep the old her in creased handwritten letters,
in tubes of rose lipstick,
in pale apricot yellow yarn,
and in namaste expelled breaths
from a place that is both
conscious and extinct.

I’m scared I don’t know the figure in the mirror.
Her looming shape is discombobulating.
Her arms wrap around me, but I don’t feel safe.

I ran out of arbitrary distractions,
and time feels so heavy,
sweeping in with the tide and fading with the current.
I wonder if this limited existence is living at all
or just another cheap abyss –
stretching as far as the horizon
only to collapse into a heap of dusty wires and gasoline smoke.

Somehow I always find that my eyes are drawn to clocks –
the left hand always bigger than the right.
Days pass like freight trains –
loud and anxious,
but always spiraling to nowhere
or anywhere but here.
I remember when breathing was easy –
pine trees, white snow,
and imperfect but jubilant singing –
not ever stale house and tired ink-stained eyes.

I think sometimes love melts away
like scattered salt on ice,
with it my foggy blinders
and the imprints of her fingertips gripping mine.

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