I went ahead and lit 3 on a match tonight
because hell, maybe what I need is ghosts.
I ricochet. Blame yourself, blame external
sources, resent external sources, detest yourself.
Maybe there is a way to share the blame and to
fucking get over it. Man, would I ever like to
get a bird. A little bluegreen bird who'd nibble
the tips of my fingers like the one in the shop,
through the bars. The bars are why I can’t get a bird.
The cage. I couldn’t be responsible for that.

I feel dragged down by the weight of my spine.
A steel coil, straightened, tense, waiting to
coil again, to feel its own hardness bent over itself
like a hopeless cold snail. I use candles so I don't
have to get out of bed to turn off the light.
The candlelight caught something on the floor,
just now, I imagined a wiggle from the corner
of my eye. First thought: Mouse. Second thought:
Now I have a pet. It all comes from giving up on men.

James fell in love with me the minute I used the
words "xylem" and "phloem" in a sentence.
From that point it was a race, and I didn't realize
until it was over that I didn't want to run.
He meant well. He did poorly. I don't ever want to
get to know anyone new again. Maybe I need plants.
I killed my bathroom fern. I guess I don't take long
enough showers to make it happy.

I need an amaryllis. What a miracle. Just a lump
in a pot getting watered for no reason until
suddenly it springs up, a strong green tongue
bursting upward till it's thick as a wrist and
two feet tall with four great meaty pods hanging
from the top. Before they are flowers you can hold them
in your hand and think, I am looking at the plain outside
skin of what is soon going to be a very beautiful thing.
One morning the pod splits and you have a blossom
heavier than your hand, big and muscular as a steak.
There is something sad about candles that melt each other
just by being too close. Why can't they cooperate?

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