The Girl on Rural Ave

I rented her the room
on the basis of her earrings.
Freckled nose, newly thin,
collar bones cut
sharp like her wit.
We gave thanks
with spanokopita
cranberries and turkey,
Tupperware bowls.
Her vintage eye,
a thrift store hound,
she let me wear
her green dress once.
I did again, without asking.
She knew but didn’t say.
Vodka smoothies, red-eyed research.
David Bowie, drunken curries.
The cheap skillet warped.
I laughed and ate her meal.
The decade took its toll.
A light dimmed by hidden liquor,
welfare calls, the ride to find the totaled car.
Missing persons report, the lonely cat,
a pile of sick upon the floor.
Awkward box step, care and boundary.
The line drawn.

A new sun rose, a corner turned.
A job, a love, a life abroad.
Santorini, Rome, and Paris,
Istanbul, a mother’s email.
No alcohol, they said.
No details yet.

Just a heart sans
beat.











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