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A White Picket Fence

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She scrubs the soap scum ring from the bathtub.
Her shoes click down the linoleum as she mindlessly tosses items into her shopping cart.
She heaves the vacuum cleaner up two flights of stairs-thud thud thud-as classical music fills the empty house, each crescendo mocking her.
Her SUV guzzles gas; at one point she would have cared.

At the timeshare in Key West she eyes
her children splashing in the water and wonders
what would happen if she just slipped in,
cracked her head on the concrete and sunk,
sunk, her designer sandals rising
to the surface towards the sunlight.

Hangs her husband’s silk shirts in the walk-in closet.
Old hidden stash of cigarettes in a shoe so she
sticks her hand out the bathroom window, as He hates the smell of smoke.
Was a time she would have hated this life.
When she backpacked, protested, marched, danced,
lived. The medication to bring her to life smothers her in haze.

Used to tan out by the pool, glistening
oil on her skin, seeking sunlight like a starving flower.
Black dresses advertised her golden glow.
“For a limited time only!” Sold out soon.
Snuck out her window, railing to the back porch, landing soundlessly
on the freshly-cut grass. Meeting on the pavement, shoes in hand, under the streetlight.

And You stand and watch me drown.
Welcome, darkness. It’s been a while.





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