Saturday, February 6, 2010


by Lee Lincecum

i wake up
smelling like the Middle East
and in your patient bravery
you are already fully clothed
in a perfect Autumn shroud

sometimes i get jealous
of the paintings on your wall
how lucky they must be
to get to watch you all the time
and know all the secrets
i could never know
even if i spent
an eternity
inside you

i was stranded in a snowstorm
in a truckstop
in Menomonie, Wisconsin
for three days
i thought i would freeze to death
before i could make it to the door
the kind of cold that takes your breath
don't you see?

is kind of like that
except i'm already inside
and the only thing i fear now
is the other side of that door

as i leave
i just want to take something,
one of your coffee cups,
a book from your shelf,
one of the figures from your mantle,
that mask hanging on your wall,
even if only to hide my fear

(maybe one of your kitchen knives?)

and that's what i'll use
to cut this one last heartstring
i'm using
to so desperately hang on
to you
and once i do
i'll fall so far
you'll need a snowstorm
to obscure my chalk outline
from the surface of your heart

or maybe i'll just leave the knife behind
kneel down in your room,
and beg you to cut me,

when you do
leave a scar
so that i will have
to remember you by

*Lee Lincecum is co-editor of Whisper&Scream

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