“It’s Always Something,” Sally Delehant

Yesterday the wind took our picture off the wall over the piano; birds chirped their curt symphonies in the box elder. I thought of you— your obvious loveliness, your obliviousness to lost things. An ambulance blinks two lanes over, a restaurant goes under, your little niece kicks off her shoe. We pantomime infatuations, put on scarves. You’ll never again speak to your father. What was once my knee in a theater is tired eyes at a kitchen sink; we fall into us. A squirrel upsets the feeder, hangs by one leg and reaches. (Even my feet are angry.) You tromp in muddy leaves, test the alarm, whisper lub-dub. Silvered streets gird our apartment. I fasten my parka to leave. Everywhere muck, newspapers, a blanket— our neighbor in flip-flops has forgotten her key. I daydream the ocean, your hand on my ankle. I’ll walk without stopping, won’t care if I ever do. The wind can whip its wants, can rattle each thing, rip roofs from shingles at angles. I’ll think of you— forgetting which switch is a light and which the disposal, climbing on my back at a carnival, quieting after pendulum hung work days. The streetlights have been on for an hour. Nothing will let me come to you.

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