In a parallel universe there's the other you, the one who, still in shirtsleeves, soaps a toddler's hair, who hasn't had sex in months, who falls asleep while rocking the baby. The you whose glimpse of me in the grocery store recalls the kiss in the parking lot, the decision to pinch the gas line before the combustion, to halt the catch and surge.
Free us oh God
oh blades of grass
oh air of wood smoke and apples
oh milkweed fuzz
free us from I wish I want
from what if what if
The woods today shimmer and crackle after days of rain. The trees don't bend to retrieve what was theirs, to paste brown latticed leaves back into place. It goes, it goes, your childlessness, the little twiggy lines at the corners of my eyes, your lean boyish frame ahead of me, holding a branch back for me to pass.
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