a not quite epic could've been

November 2, 2008
By Shelby Riddle, Manitou, KY

You and I were we once,
I think.
Somewhere between the screams,
the bleeding appendages,
the broken nose I gave you that summer
you said you were leaving me for good—
somewhere in the chaos,
I remember you saying you loved me.

There were no stars in the sky,
before you.
There was no night, in that pre-life,
no deep voice that
sent shivers from my toes to the
tip-top of my candied-apple head—
your strong lips soft at my ear,
speaking words that warmed my soul.

In one thousand four hundred sixty-one days,
I learned
to see the stars without your lips,
and to throw a punch with my left hand.

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