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Clorox-Scented Elegy

Poetry & Prose | February 5, 2018

From on top of the roof, I hope you distill me into heady gaze

as uncompromising as a codeine problem.

Sometimes things are all right. Your hands catching flame,

we can laugh, for once, at your dousing-yourself-in-gasoline-problem.

 

Sometimes we’re at the pool. It’s rock-candy crystal blue

and feels like nothing. We baptize and drink

from it and don’t talk about you going. Sunwashed teeth

grin around the indifferent emblem of a nicotine problem.

 

With your lips corked you broke the wall in the laundry room

so a stowaway could sleep under the staircase. One day I hear

his balmy breath with a start. Your fidelity smells like detergent.

Years later, I develop a spending-time-on-washing-machines-problem.

 

I’ll definitely never go on a cruise ship again. Shimmering atlantic

basketball court island, you don’t teach me to be the underdog in time.

This place is gone; I know what happened here. But if we’re pretending

you’re here we can pretend you never had one.