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The Anniversary

 

On the day of our anniversary
I bought a book of the dead –
poetry reamed out between pages, tattooed
with the lingering glances of old bones
and coins pressed into palms –
but this, this burial is ours.
Or mine.

I feel the clay
gnawing around me, the silent
earth asking to be invited in –
a knock at the door, or the walls,
or on my skull –
the sound, it carries.

Today, on this day,
I remember. I imagine, over
coffee, that you don’t.
I imagine that you have forgotten
all the things we hide
between shadows,
secrets buried like the seeds
of things destined not to grow.

This last death is mine,
cool as a river, obscured
by dirty windows
and moonless nights –
somewhere, a bird cries, grief
carved out of a lost star, a figure
in the distance shaded
by the turning of an invisible wheel.

There is dirt
caked underneath my fingernails,
and the bird begins to wail, announcing
what has happened,
and all I can think is
why did nothing cry out
when you stepped across the water,
away from me?

Not even nature shed a leaf.
They were all gone by then,
proving that winter is the perfect time
to disappear –
but on this day,
I die again, always
always do I remember.

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