It is full bitter winter when I begin
to bleed. Too ashamed to tell. Aligning myself
with the crows I take the back way home.
Pages of book reports blown down the hill.
What constitutes anger is passion plus a disappointment
of hopes. Bad math. The body plus the smell
of burning. The Pine-Sol ghost of the school hall
and early mornings I can’t wake up. The fluorescent
bulb was invented for us, and the closed window.
Moths hatching from the oatmeal. I have the most tender
feeling and nowhere to apply it. Superstitious, I walk
only where the path is most difficult, stack my pennies
by year, nurse a private longing for fancy soaps.
Monthly this extra thing I can’t use, and meanwhile
so much else I can’t have. Candles lit
on the windowsills when my mother can’t pay
the electric bill. We make the best of it, all that soft light.
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