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Lindsay Bernal




A wreck, I walk the length of an Ames parking lot

to forget you, the safety-pin noose loosened,


every un-had conversation, but, for once,

I refuse hysterics, hyperbole: pulling out my hair


and begging. Why would I

look back before stepping onto the Greyhound


without even one bag, one dollar? Honor you,

us, with another public tantrum?


Before the woman next to me thinks to offer

a Kleenex, a swig from her flask, I’m over


the drugs, your charm. Through the window

the view’s better though in no way romantic:


eternal strip mall, sporadic adult mart,

the grayish Susquehanna in the middle of which


they’ve erected a second Lady Liberty

made just of trash––and she’s lasted!––


the scenery repeating itself until Corning.







I’m sorry I subjected you to such bad art

that rainy morning you left me


—as  bad, I think, as that wisp of a woman’s

performance on Governor’s Island:


she drank pink lemonade, then urinated

through her tights & tutu over & over.


I didn’t get it but she sure was beautiful

in her cube on a swivel chair, on the floor


resting or stretching her lithe body

like a cat, yogic, wholly dismissive


of her hipster audience. Me?

I was crouched in a corner of our home


unable to stop the flood.

Not even by swaddling myself


could I sufficiently diminish the I.

There’s nothing less arousing than a woman


weeping, a bird confused by the weather.

The street cat hasn’t been ravished yet


to which she, too, will respond by crying

just like the toddler next door


whining without end while I fake-sleep––

which is it? A child not trained


to self-soothe or routine cat-rape,

his barbed part inside for far too long. 

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