You were with me
         not a picture of you behind my lids    not a dream

but a kiss
         a life I lived

I woke up
         not knowing where I was

or who
         you were beside me

         in another life.

As though my lover placed his cold, chapped hand
against the soft tissue under my ribs, stopping my breath.

As though that silence were an incision
I could step through. Foot-lifted, hand in the flame.

As though we were sparrows hopping on the garage roof,
the trees dripping, piercing the gray with silver needles.

A pink magnolia holding up palm after palm of blossom.

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