The Curve

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A long slender branch
cut across your cheek
Saturday.
It left a swollen scratch.
Luminous pink with tiny beads of blood.

I traced your outline
on the pavement
with chalk.
You let your eyes go flat.
I let my mind go blank.

We filled your space with leaves
and clover flowers.
I snapped the branch and placed it
where your cheek was cut.
The curve of a short smile.

The second bus
goes across town.
It takes us past the shipyard
where your grandfather worked.
It takes us home.

Etch

Long exposure from a moving car ~ Exa Ihagee

Long exposure from a moving car ~ Exa Ihagee

The success of moments
upon the skin.
The pain of swatting flies
or stabbing a pencil into
your leg.

Trip over the outline
left on the ground.
You mark the soured earth
with your spit words
and poor taste.

Scratch the dirt away from the stone
you buried.
Rub the surface to search for letters
the ground will etch the truth
into the surface.

The ground will find its way
through the air above.
Those normal things that move,
that go or stay
remain in their decay.

Scratch the dirt away and look for the hints
you’ve hidden.
Memory created you from a pile of garbage
a pile of other peoples’ actions
or so it seems.

Wake up.
Swing your bare feet to the floor.
Try to put your shirt on right side out.

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