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Lindsay Bell

THE YEAR IN WHICH EVERYONE DIES

 

Nobody turns over at night

to find her wide-eyed listless lover

unquieted by the thought of sleep,

 

puts her hand out, tentative, searching

for folds in which light hides a nose,

or lips slack with wishing for turn of day.

 

Baby wishes she were grown up,

but she has no idea that this entails

negotiating with prior wishes.

 

In the meantime – that is, the hour least

of all bewitching, in which the smallness

of dark meets the smallness of morning

 

the news meets her, looks her up and down

as she might feel a breeze moves around her

deliberately and excuses itself into a

 

corner. He is gone. Not to more

clutching fever, not to defeat wakefulness

by fixing windows, but really gone.

 

 

 

CATCHING THE HEM OF A TROPICAL DEPRESSION, WE MAKE TO HEAD INLAND

 

I was bribing you with red licorice.

You were at the top of the stairs and would not come down,

not for licorice,

nor our great bear of a hypothetical dog,

nor a bunny hug.

We could feel the wind tug through the walls.

You hugged the banister.

I looked up, imploring, from the foot.

I’m sure I looked like a statue of the Ascension.

You wanted to sleep in the bathtub or read Boy’s Life.

You wanted to get drunk.

I wanted to let you; but also, I wanted to protect you from yourself,

hoist your improbable frame over my shoulder,

take you with me,

though I hardly had a better plan for survival.

Let alone a beautiful life.

The last one didn’t work.

 

I’ve felt myself going telegraphic.

But now there’s no way to intercede for the terrible

distance we are about to close in on one another.

It’s better than meeting in a squall.

We are as close to becoming one

as a two-headed hydra screaming judgment can be.

We hate the city and are happy to go west.

Are you happy to go with me?

Have you grown into the calm man I see,

(I think I see) the good eater?

 



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