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You don’t know which is worse:

the violence at the heart

of last night’s storm,

clenched fist large enough

to contain all your names and numbers;

Or, as it dies down finally,

the sound of the approaching

footsteps of that old friend

who no longer means you well,

blue-eyed bogie with a habit

of turning up on the doorsteps

of those whose turn has come…

It’s too late now for any explanation

to cover what happened and what

went so reliably wrong for you

to turn tell-tale on her now.

She has gone over to the state

with its crisp printed lists

and their check –marked boxes

to interpret the latest incidents:

The ransacked living-room’s

tossed, water-logged keepsakes;

the sliced live cable;

the drained

rainy day bottle.

What bound you two together

got loosened on a night

as rough as this one was

and has spun ever since wildly

out of sight and memory.

Until even the girl you did know

in a hand-me-down pinafore

and untameable hair

looks back at you now across the years

with a lighthouse stare

before sinking back in amongst

some other uniforms’ dark blue swell. 

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