“And you’re still addicted to way back when instead of
coming back to life.”

—Buddy Wakefield

there once was Boulder
and the flatirons draped in
summer sun.

I always had popsicles and
chapstick on hand,
a wet coral lipgloss,
tantrums and suggestive tones
that my brother would make it through,
funerals and weddings and cherry-
stacked Shirley Temples;
a lot of  murmurs
from a  painful
you declaring your love for me
in the middle of the night in
the middle of my hometown
while I was drunk on my former losses
and no cocktail to hold.
then there was despondent me
taking it all in
with a wilted corsage in my hair

that I wanted to wear the next day
but couldn’t wait
so bought it three days early and

                 never mind the water
my date called and
without twenty four hours notice,
stood me up.

you stood in.

we attended the wedding the next day;
on the anniversary of our trip across country.
I wore a peach vintage dress and tied a
ribbon in my hair instead of
the dehydrated orchid.
you brought me a headband and a bracelet to match,
said some dulcified things about my progress
and recovery, apologies about my brother
and you hoped my mom would be ok,
a little postcard that said “Ghent”
to remind where I came from
and a note on the back to remind me
where I’ve been.
to your credit,
I never said it,
            (mostly self seeking back then)
we had it.

I never appreciated much
until I moved here and was
left in a townhouse on the
edge of Lehigh
and these days,
I appreciate just a little bit of sun
through the mirror of clouds that frowns back
and the retreat of all the workers and corners
to their shelters somewhere barely safe,
a brief meditation on my mattress,
enough money for dinner and
if I’m lucky, a nap
in the middle of the day where I lay
letting the thoughts of us
 running to the west and unlocking fingers
to each discover it
in our own way
wash over me
to the sound of
          forgive the sudden bird chirps
mostly silent days.

and we had it
so I know it happens.

“liberation”

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