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by Lauren Singer

when the authorities come,
tell them i did not make a fuss.
tell them i was listening to beethoven and
fingering a small hole in the big toe of my sock and
that mumbling about chess pieces.

you, lovelorn and decayed,
knew nothing of me in the end.
you would have let me throw myself
down the stairs like millay because you were
so stricken by a song, or a word said slowly.
you wouldn't know to bring me books thick with dust and
definitions. you only want whispers in the night
and down comforters.

i am not so very blind to not recognize
that look in you, often shared by broken people.
i should have yelled, "run!" i should have hid behind
large wooded banisters in run-down buildings with rotting
wood floors where you would have surely sank if you came after me.

i wished that you had sent me oliver sacks so i could tell
him that i wished i was a hat and we could discuss what it means
to not really know a face, to not really trust a reflection.

i am sorry for my arsenal of excuses.
for all the sighing at your bedside and
perhaps, most of all
the hand limply fallen at my waist
when you, so many times,
tried reaching out to me.


Posted on 03/12/2014
Copyright © 2021 Lauren Singer

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 03/13/14 at 02:44 PM

Poignant; sense of loss, of confusion and frustration regarding a relationship all expressed symbolically.

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