Wide Enough


           wasn’t crossing the

           fence line a bird


           that wasn’t perched

           in the magnolia


           and wasn’t flying—

           wasn’t a magic


           cry or forest

           or fist of smoke



It looked ordinary. So go driving— why not?

What about the word “people”— that’s what “people” do.

Ordinary people expect. So I did too.


Widens in snow— the field was cars over overpass— the high ground where you can see far— darling you: dear nasty wind I expect, the daring I expect, the slick bridges to come. This is my apple to fail, my empty milk jug, I thought—ordinary brand of living with— I don’t know what I thought.



           Fall or not—

           Lost or not—

           Fail or not—

           Found or not—

           “are you kidding me—

           what would you ever do

           without me”—


your horse at any moment might buck, knock you to the ground, step on your chest— you might lose your glasses in the road— your wine bottles breaking and spilling across the hayfield— at any moment— you were bleeding bleeding out and none of us could see it— okay, all of us could see it—

           We were losing you



                   ice to lips— I don’t
                   want you to leave—

                   are you leaving—
                   are you thirsty

                   and flying— the magic
                   cry in the forest— you

                   look like someone
                   else who was also

                   dying— you don’t look
                   like my mother saying

                   “just my daughters and
                   no one else ”

                   “just my daughters”


I couldn’t. No one could—

You were at the lake. You had two very young children and you were living away from everyone you love and you’re back. You’re at the lake with everyone you love. You’re on vacation. You look sleep deprived. He’s calling to say you’re going broke, he’s going to get fired, his bosses all hate him, and what are you going to do about it.


           Fall or not—

           Lost or not—

           Fail or not—

           Found or not—


I couldn’t. No one could. Say “come back to me.” Say “come back.” I couldn’t say. Rebound, return, no one could— you are strong enough— or wait— or is that me—strong enough for us both— or no, you were alone— or no, I wanted you to live alone— to say— Home. Again. You could leave— Rooms go dark. Until the house—lamplight or is it— moon I think apple slice— I knew you might never come back.


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