my wedding song has been borrowed
by every man I’ve dated, (see how I say man
like a burnt out light in my palms, like a room
I walk into, having forgotten why I came,

like a language I learned to speak fluently
but now comes out as white noise
and the pinched gasp of missing the last step
in the staircase?)

I’ve listened to it crackle on the
dark vinyl of a bachelor pad, strummed
gentle and shy by long fingers in a sunlit attic,
mulled over with the bladed scent of whiskey
I watched as they swallowed the melody
and sang it back to me in their own words
the familiar dance of courtship:
part plumage, part erasure.

It does not take much
to become stateless in love:
we are taught to use our bodies
as bridges, things to burn in the
wake of failed relationship, taught to grip
harder on the slipping wrist. We were
never taught the anatomy of patience
how to build a garden out of
dying things
how to breathe with our whole body
when the things we love
walk into the river and do not

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