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“Tell me a story.”
You said as you traced the lines across my palm,
your little mouth curved upwards at the ends.
I didn’t tell you about princes or princesses
or shiny images on laminated paper,
and I didn’t have much of a imagination.
I could only tell you what I knew,
and for all I knew, that wasn’t much.
You came home late again,
the porch door swinging behind you, loud and unashamed.
A putrid scent behind you, the noise raging
in a neighborhood we’d always sigh at and say,
“We’ll leave here someday.”
Your quiet footsteps trod on a creaky floor,
giving you away, and the night you carried in with you.
I wonder where you were, and know it is pointless to ask.
“If you love something, let it go.”
What a human construct, to do the exact opposite
of what instinct tells you, a senseless paradox.
Even so, I hope you don’t look back.
I hope you do something in this stupid world,
in this stupid place that we call home.
You grin at me, but that memory is growing fainter.
You’ve got lines of your own now.
I’m not sure if that comforts me, or makes me sad,
but these days it doesn’t take much to do either one.
You reach out your hands,
I trace little constellations in them, absentmindedly.
As night rages on outside, you smile
and tilt your head knowingly; what are you thinking?:
“Tell me a story.”