Draft – apology 127

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i want to say it all in a syllable
i want you to know that, even now
i play the plot in my head on repeat
to find something I missed
capture it’s essence
a flavor, a sour note that tasted
of lemongrass.
of the last time I ate with your family
and we ordered takeout
and listened to the secadas
–ECW

draft – wedding guests

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you asked if I would invite them
the men who came before you;
you asked like you were giving
permission the way a hand picks
a lock; cautiously with carnal
self awareness; because a locked
door is a negotiation, a compro-
mise between what is and what
might have been, a weighing of
outcomes in the palm; supple
inviting: why is it locked? what
might I never know, you asked
if I would invite them to see what
the door looked like, and if this
like so many other secrets,
was worth picking at.

–ECW

Draft – Foucault Pendulum

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someday, when we grow up
this too will be a memory
glowing with all the passion
of a darling age; someplace
elsewhere where we’ve
kept all the dishes pristine
and all the portraits are of young
lovers -us I assume- smiling wide
enough to swallow our medicine
someday, when we are gone
from here, this place will be perfect
and we will remember everything
golden and foil-stamped
like our wedding invitations
which everyone attended,
even the people who got sick
even the people we couldn’t
squeeze in, the record we keep
will be complete, circling the dowel
coming around and around
in tidy lassajous curves.

–ECW

love song in E minor

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love song in E minor

I want this quiet to kill me
I want my last image of us
in this crooked wave to be endless
I want your words to come
out of my mouth like i’ve said them
I want everything in this house
to glitter with dust because
I’m not fidgeting, I’m contented
in the mess that is our nesting place
I want every book on the shelves
to be bloated with love notes
I want to hide my intentions
in a formfitting dress and imply them
I want coffee mugs stained with tree rings
because the conversation was sweet enough
I want the candles to burn out on their own.
I want a love song in e minor playing
low low low in the background
so low we dont hear it, but we feel it
low low in our bones.

–ECW

Draft – teeth

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Even teeth grow back
eventually
Over the long miles
glacier runoff
book spines
even teeth grow back
when we’ve run them over
and over and over
in our mouths
wording, nuance
the times you say we
to make a point.
Teeth ground down to
the root resurface
one at a time
then all at once
a mouth full of opinions
a crooked willful smile
–ECW

Library poem 1

Vanessa please don’t bless me
Don’t lay down a prayer in my name
Don’t deem my unpainted toes divine
Don’t wallow in your gratitude.

Vanessa please don’t praise me
Don’t sing your relief in alto
Don’t write me sonnets of self
Loathing. This is my job Vanessa

And this is my name tag, don’t
Clasp my hands and beg my forgiveness
Vanessa, and end each sentence
With my name. Don’t thank me

More than the usual, cordial grateful
But aloof thank-you of a not so
Invested adult. Vanessa. Let’s be adults
About all this computer shit, it’s fine.

Vanessa please don’t wrap your hands together and thank god for me,
For doing the things I do for everyone,
For strangers, Vanessa, it’s just my job.
–ECW