She was a day past presence, riding
the jagged breath below the surface
of consciousness, and I was running
to make the next plane to Arkansas.
My footsteps parted the ear-splitting
everyday announcements on the static
speaker of gate changes and baggage claim.
I was running, gunning the rental car
through the curved roads of the Ozarks,
frantic for her to hear the familiar cadence
of my voice. She was inside her last flickering,
the holding place just beneath the skin
papered over bone. Her skull was a half-empty
wasp nest, a grave tempo of slowing wing beats,
until I ran through her door. She gave a shuddering
jolt, a violent jerk at the sound of me, and it was as if
the words themselves had shed their warm husks
and were reduced to pulsing threads between us,
from the hollow dark where we first met.
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