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At a party in winter

your own limbic structure sits
in the corner of a darkening room.
You have not been asked to leave.
You are not celebrating anything.
The cat’s eyes observe your stillness
while outside snow falls onto
the balcony, jaggedly as bits of bad breath.
You are exactly like the rest of them –
you hold within you no museums.
You have teeth and probably some cavities
and you have been injured. You adore
being loved against the backdrop of a slow song.
The music is comprised of quick beats
like a light switch that has just been flipped on.
No light switches have been flipped on.
There has been the lighting of candles
as though preparing for a hurricane.
The snow continues to fall. People move
and mill about you like water in a bath.
It would be lovely to take a bath.
You hoist yourself from your corner.
You are not stuck. You remind yourself
of gratitude when you enter the bathroom
and there is no line to wait on
and you have not had to dress for a funeral.
Many days pass and every day it is as though
the funeral has occurred yesterday. In the bathroom,
you wash your hands. You splash your face.
You use that same water to swirl
it about the inside of your mouth,
your cheeks puffed out. There are worse things
than to feel like a hideous woman.
Outside, the sky is bloated, soaked in night.
You want to remember everybody – everybody
you have ever loved. You want to be gracious.
You have grieved enough, enough.
Of course, you want to be loved – you are
not ready. You are not ready to die alone.


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