rough edges

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sometimes i think if i stare at
your picture long enough that maybe
i’ll finally exorcise this demon out
of my brain, you know?
maybe you’ll become two-dimensional
and i’ll be able to file you away
into a photo album of memories
you’ll become flat and remote and
rough around the edges
maybe if i stare at this picture of you
long enough it’ll be like when i was
a kid and my best friend and i
would stare into mirrors reciting
chants and curses she learned on the
catholic school playground that were
supposed to call up apparitions and saints
maybe you’ll appear before me and i’ll
say the magic words to make you
leave this mess my brain is in

you’re like the friends who say they’ll call
and then don’t
you’re like the boys who say they want you
but won’t
you’re like the piece of the puzzle
that fell between the counter and the stove
or my house keys when i’m
on my way out the door
i’m looking for a friday night smile
on a face i know will only blink
i’m looking for a glance of connection
in a brain that swirls like a bathroom sink
and i sit here confined by hestitation
wondering how long i can last
reading months of innuendos and
peeking at passages too far in the past

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The night of the Leonids

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A discombobulated collective of ragtags with
a mission were we the night of Mother Nature’s
splendid fireworks. We collided with time and space
in the freezing cold ocean air; half a plan
and a little determination was all it took for us
to feel like we were finally living again
and we gave thanks to each other
and to the universe
for granting us this show of joy, affection and laughter.

We forgot what it was that we were supposed
to be worrying about and focused instead on the ripe
fireballs and streaks of twins and triplets
that flashed too quickly before our very eyes,
our eyes which felt like it was the first time
they were open in far, far too long.
We sang Elton John and Chaka Kahn in an effort
to forget that our noses and hands
had fallen off
in the cold.

One of us received a profession of love
via the technological wonders of voicemail and even
though it was the wrong person leaving the message,
some of us glowed with his love anyways.
There were times when even I was speechless,
only able to feel like I was five again, looking at stars
with my Uncle Charlie, and that these people,
some strangers, some not, were my family for that night.

Her finale was the beginning of a sunrise while
the last of our split-second friends burned up
in a purply blue sky. The roar and the lull
of the ocean slowly made us sleepy, and
on the train ride home, we dreamt
the dreams of children
while the brilliance of a new day warmed
our bundled bodies in sleep.