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You Who Will Never
By Anna Kelly
I still think of you standing in the wings
straight-backed in a loose dress, waiting.
The air around pungent with your hunger.
Sweetheart—clear ghost of my sightline,
I mourn you most of all.
The last time I touched him, it was your
saline breath that lapped against my ear.
Here are our promises back. The blanket.
The kindergarten photo where your hair
is in your eyes. The day at the dog park
when you insist on crab-walking down
the pathway and laugh at how upright
and dull we are.
Oh God. It is painful to recall your throat
tensing when he reached for me, so ready
to be reeled up from your lifeless seabed.
We should never have spoken your name:
no, not even into the crease of our pillow.
Oh God. For an unmade and unrequested
creature, you have a way of remaining.
Show me anything else that has
wanted itself as much.