November 14, 2008
By Megan Shea, Riverview, FL

1, 2, 3, 4
I remember you counting
Counting the stovetop burners,
Before we left each morning.
As I held the door open,
Letting sunlight leak into
The darkened apartment.
A flood of yellow light.
You counted.

1, 2, 3, 4
The numbers were comfort
Reminders of safety
The burners turned off,
A home not on fire.
The number floated
Into every room
Forming a new texture
On the walls.

1, 2, 3, 4
The counting was subtle,
Barely a hint.
You never possessed
The medical cleanliness
Of stereotypes, nor the
Absurdities that flahs
Like neon lights.
You just counted.

1, 2, 3, 4
When you saw me bleeding,
You showed me your bruise.
'Our lives are parallel lines,' you said.
I saw the reason for numbers, then,
Etched my own into the walls.
Not for burners but things unsaid,
Words left unspoken, with eyes downcast,
I counted.

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