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Hollow

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As you sit on the bench,
On the lonely sidewalk, two blocks east of your apartment
The fourth plank from the bottom
Grinds against your spine
Cotton makes your back itch
The bruise on your right shoulder, near the top
Throbs because you hit it again
On the doorframe
You will probably hit it again later
When you find your way home from work
And the studio is still empty
And the window facing the street is closed
And the red clock that was so novel at the time
Will record the 45 minutes of empty space
That drives you to insanity each night
And you will wander into the bathroom
The doorframe is chipped where you hit it with the alarm clock
That lies in an untidy pile next to the trash
Just in case

And the cup by the sink is chipped where it fell
Three days ago, spider webs spreading from the missing chunk of glass
The toothbrush bristles are ragged and bent out of shape
The toothpaste tube has been empty for a week
No, two.

Nail bitten fingers,
They are yours, you realize
Scrape your greasy scalp because the shower has not run
In four days

The sheets have been torn off the bed
You don’t sleep, not anymore
Because when the window is closed,
And the red clock ticks
And the studio is empty
And your sheets lie in a pile beside you
You can’t smell the tangerine perfume
That haunts you
Because she clicked out of the apartment in her best black high heels
And her canvas suitcase filled with everything she owned
Thudded over the threshold
That held in the smell of banana bread
And everything you knew



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