even now
3 a.m
can’t sleep
crying so hard
my pillow has
no dry side.
i read again
mary oliver’s poem
‘wild geese’
that rests permanently
on my
nightable.

‘you do not
have to be good’
writes mary

i try to convince
my young
inconsolable self
that this might be true
but she
disagrees
insisting that our badness
is what drove jane
away last christmas
taking the dog along
with her now
broken promise
of a lifetime of
protection.

“i just want to feel
safe” she whispered
out loud to no one
staring at the ceiling
praying to the stain
in the grain of the wood
that looks like jesus.

k.a.l

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