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You fought with her again. You did.
You almost hit her.
Hands held tight— you want to spit against the bitterness.

Now she's gone like an autumn leaf,
like the ragtime tune you always whistle on your other wasted Saturdays.

Ashamed of the rage in your head,
you pull it out—your brain— you toss it out and it’s gone like garbage.

Then you rip out your throat, shouted red-raw,
looking like a fractured flute glass,
and you set it up on the shelf, high up. Way up out
of reach and danger.

Now you
pinch out
each lung—
lungs like
a big
flittery and
Then you crumple them up in white linen and you shove them in a drawer.

Then one pop two pop three pop four pop five six seven eight nine pop ten—
the fingers pop free.
And you bind them up with yellow yarn.
You put them in a glass on the porch, beside the mason jar
that holds the caterpillars
that the kids caught
just last weekend.

You rock in the porch swing and watch the day
itself dismantle.

And you rock and you
remind yourself:
now, in the morning when you ramshackle toss
and tie yourself together, do not
your brain.

You remember where you put it?
Maybe you should leave a note.
Now where did you put
your fingers?

Distracted, you replace your fingers with the caterpillars,
lose track of why you got up,
waste the night feeling up the
keyboard, fondling the
remote, stroking
milkweed plants in the backyard.

In the morning, your hands aren't where they belong.

You get up and go to the porch and stick your fingers back in place.

You get up on a chair and you reach
and get a hold of your throat and
slide it simply
back into your neck.

You pull out the drawer and uncrinkle your lungs from the linen remembering
as you slip them on like a vest around your heart.

And somewhere else is your brain.
Good riddance. Gray lump
big as two fists pressed together.
No doubt it's crawling through the mud somewhere,
still angry, still right,
still looking
for a fight.

Love to you all.


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