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:: The Leech, our Lice, the Matched Divorce by Janet I. Buck ::

Step one was pregnant with despair.
The only child we’d ever have.
To think that I could box your ghosts
with hummingbirds of will alone.
Step two was buckets of denial.
I gave you half my teaching job
so scorpions of unemployed
and jungle rot of sour days
would not infect what hope there was.
I bought you toys and furniture.
A useless ploy like
yelling at the ocean waves
to not disturb a dune of sand.
Step three: a marriage on the rocks;
nothing flying through the air
but avalanches brewed in black like
finely whirled coffee grounds.
Step four: the fight (where I
would drink and you would scream).
Destiny was pizza cold
every time we ordered out.
Liquor was my rosary.
I rolled it out to meet your moods.
Dessert, a round of histrionics
denser than a Shakespeare play.
Step five: divorce.
Thunderheads and pimples pop.
The lancer and the Lancelot
were meeting lice of sober days.
Funny thing--this getting “dry” was your idea.
When it woke me up enough,
alone seemed scented lily pads.
A rising moon behind the light
you swatted down with anger’s broom.
I learned a leech would stay a leech,
never offer bags of blood.
The fingerprints of married life--
desperation’s roach in bloom.

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