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…………………………(This poem appeared in The Perch, Fall 2017.)

There is nothing of me to touch
but stretch marks and bite marks
and the shapes left by accidents
with ovens and knives.
There is nothing inside me to awaken.
I haven’t slept for what feels
like a hundred years.
There is nothing of my time
that still knows the old things
that bring me joy,
least of all desire.
There is nothing left
of the way I used to understand
life, and what it takes to be alive.
There is no understanding.
There is no space here
for a step back
for a question
for a deep breath
that isn’t a pause between
two things I have to do
if I don’t want the world to fall apart
while I am on the clock.
There is no silence to spare,
only the noises of clutter
and burdens of need
and the rage of all the tears
that I have no right to weep.
There is no peace.
He is unhappy because I am not
the same woman.
I am unhappy because
he is unhappy
even after all that I have done.

“Ballet Inspired Wedding Ideas from Amy Osaba”
by photographer M. K. Sadler


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