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POEM: If You Didn’t Wake Up


If You Didn’t Wake Up

The Earth is not a cold dead place.
Who told you that

your head was vestigial,
to bury yourself in the carpet

next to the bottles? Who were you
in those falling hours? The neighbors called to complain

about the smell.
I’m packing you into boxes labeled Silverware,

Junk-drawers, clothes for Goodwill.
My face is split in the forks and on the butter knives

I can tell how similar our fingerprints were.

Who passed you these phobias, these pale stories?
Did you stare into the white tunnel?

Your couch barely fits in the elevator.
Your apartment is almost empty.

The mirror’s smudged with leftover oils
and there’s a little toothpaste left in the cap.

I put your loafers in my closet,
the ones we’d steal from each other.

I put your speakers on my desk
next to a stack of mix CDs.

Your guitar is in the corner of my room,
the hollow-body you would never let me play.

Your favorite brand of beer is still
sitting in the freezer.

Your ex-girlfriend called about the funeral.

Don’t worry, she’s not bringing her husband.
Mom told me

to tell you -
the Earth is not a cold dead place.

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