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Cathedral

I take you with me
like a chain around my wrist
I took you through security
brought you to England
and on the bus to Wales
I pushed you up my arm
with bangles clinking soft

I went to Ireland to forget
the sound of your low voice
in every hotel you wait
for me to sleep without you
under pillow-white comforters
and clouds under roads
of endless miles and miles

I change my nightshirt
I change my long pants
but I find you there
in the bottom of my shoes
I met a poet who married an artist
after years and years of not
their deep folds of white skin
stinks of my undreamt dreams

I count the days unhad
in the cracks of aging stones
in ancient Scottish castles
dissolving like dead paper
black and grey and brown

they all eat like you
knives leading forks
in sway and swoon
painting food on plates
but only in reverse
pinks follow greens
orange and tan rising up
leaving only empty white

five thousand miles
two hundred days
I can’t dilute you out
filling red wine with water
flowing over the rim
I see you in the gift shop
and in the hotel shower
I leave without you
touching my own skin
brushing my own hair

I am whole without you
like a lone cathedral tower
gray stones on stones
without walls or ceilings
for centuries it stands
without congregation
or faithful believers
still, it stands without you

First appeared in The Mayo Review (2014), also in All the Tiny Anchors

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