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That Old Rot - Loving Me

Meghan Violet

The cold is understandable 

The just end of summer ripples take like wind as I write where a dead man has spent his winters – I'm sure 

The cold seeps under my cotton tongue and takes up the concrete slab I sit on – thinking 


Somewhere, I have aged 

And let a man sand the ridges of my bones down to a dab of flesh 

And let a can tab cut lines out of it 

I've let the dull beat (ache) of the heart whine on a stained white comforter

I've spilt and washed out coffee 

I've slept 

And awoke, praying for money and loneliness to fall out of me 

Like so much sand 

The morning dies again 

The shower head drips re-drown the linoleum 

The sheet sweats and dries and cleans itself 

And I belong to no one as you and I both lie with our mouths open 

Gasping, we rot ourselves over and over under some God who lets us 

We reason with a beige couch and a dogs ashes 

We dust an attic of plastic 

We keep the home phone 

The cable 

The kitchen radio 

The garage unwalkable 

Still, the family room carries its broken tv 

The kitchen dishes stay unclean 

The front hall counts coins in the glass vase 

And saves a few hundred for a plane ticket 

The marriage forgives and hates 

The children press their set thumbs into new lovers 

The mother asks to show teeth 

As she removes little pieces of her own flesh 

To make a daughter that 

Lets the cold in 

And sits at a park bench 

And picks both at bone and skin 

And still, I am aging less than death.

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