Pretense

Leaving leaning in aside for the moment, a poem.

Pretense

His brother died, pillow-faced and lacking.

Same as: my lungs, veins blue
and mapping.

          La muerta, I told you in the back, smoking,
          kerosene on our fingers.
          In your stuttered English
          you thought my Spanish wrong.

 La muerta, I whispered again.
                        (Your flirtation ended after that.)

Her son, too.
Instead of pleasantries we exchanged

purple-faced stiffness,
white-faced rigor. Cold

disbelief.

Days-old for her,

                                                               eight months on my side

of the table mocking separation.

When first asked

I will be honest:

                   No, he’s not my first.

Later, I will dodge,
bob and weave around it.

Later,
now,
I turn to ‘yes’:
my first,
            my only,

my favorite.

 

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