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November 18, 2009


You are reading from an ink spilt page:
She did not type it because she couldn’t bear
to sit in a corner and write where children play
and Wheel of Fortune blares. Earlier she asked
him to talk about why he always sat quiet, he said
supposedly he hurt her, now he didn’t want to fight.

She asked how he seemed not to care,
he said she never told him about all
of this pain. (lava now looking for earth
to scorch) But she said she’d tried for years,
until driven insane, trying to will deaf ears to hear.
His answer remains, you can’t change anything.

She drives to the store, low sun blots
out stoplights. Her mouth stale. Music
lit with a torch wails. Market a blur,
people milling. An old man with a baby
asking too many questions about fish.
Shrimp 9.00 a pound. Housewives.
Native bell peppers or the other ones?

Check-out, manned by a young boy, still pimple
faced, he tries to hide, while looking at the girl
at number four, an American doll, untouched
complexion. Change, mam. Thank you.
Home again bags unpacked on the counter.
The child wants candy. No. She starts cooking.

Candy, please. No. She gets the cutting
board. While she is badgered, he sits silent.
She pours herself into Spanish rice. Onions.
Mom, candy. The scent of the lime slice fills her
with a jolt of pleasure, she licks her finger
to take it in, different, deeper. Suddenly

perfect shrimp fajitas chosen at the market. He sits
at the table, earlier signs of trouble have faded.
Things are okay. They eat. Dinner was great. I’m glad.
He excuses himself. When he stands she feels
another fracture, acid, pressure. But softly she
says to herself, a broken heart is just a cliché.

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