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I might've This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I might've seen you
lying on the grass
But I passed
The sun shone on you
As you reclined back
But that was all
I could catch.


And the leaves were crisping golden
At their edges
Rusty, choked
Like the paint flaked off my nails
Clinging to your coat


For once upon a time
I'd have been
Straddling your lap
Brushing the fall
From the strands of your hair
Watching while you laughed


and kites
and sweaters
Decorate that scene

And the kids with their
Chalk and chatter
Took more than
A glance
from me


Breath broken up
Lungs thick with chill
A thermos to my lips


Your hand on my thigh
Teeth straight, mouth pursed
Eyes tightened in a squint


And for a moment
As the swing arced high
I was the little one
Holding on tight


Legs too short, barefoot
Shoes kicked off
To the dirt
And my gaze, so wide
At the blotted blue sky
That the whites started
To burn.


And then I have stopped
At the corner
Red sign
That nail polish
And the place where you told me
In the periphery
With you in it


So I twist my neck
Back around, and my hands
Plunge into my peacoat
Rough tweed
But the sky is not bright
Like that one day
It's grey
And to want you's not what

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