even now

4 a.m

still can’t sleep

been crying

so hard my

pillow

has no dry side.

i read once more

mary oliver’s

poem ‘wild geese’

that rests

permanently

on my night table.

‘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 lifetime

protection.

“i just want to feel safe”

i whisper 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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