hand wash cold

i’m wondering now if i was always such a muted shade

when i lived where the wind blew up and down

even before i had a foot to put a boot on

or when there were no jeans to hang on the line

now up on the line are all the faded clothes i once wore all the lust the hazing

the secret songs the shrub i hid in on the side of the butchers house

the dark dreams of frail bones dreams of cracked wings on a lilac back

even my most beautiful ivory lace with its nickel sized hole hangs

pale and stained worn too many times to too many deaths

that dress is there now above the hole the neighbors dug for a tree

in the house the garlic is sprouting little green fingers more alive than I can ever be

in this row of houses in a line of boroughs in a cluster of cities and countries and continents

i am here collecting sticks from all the shaded places to burn when the wind dies down

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