Griffin James

Cornered Thought by Jayne Marek


For Mika,

I woke up in your bed
still clutching the stuffed dog you gave me
last night. Bare light crawled into your room
through uncurtained windows.
You walked in quiet
to ask if I’m awake, ask
if I’m alright.
I press the plush animal closer to my chest
as a mother holds her stillborn.
I want to bury what happened, leave it
behind forgotten like the name
on a stranger’s grave.

take this. You handed me Excedrin,
your voice gentle as the night sea
drawing in the tide;
I took it as communion.

I watched you leave toward the balcony
pushing the world towards you as you struck
your lighter against a Camel.
I rose to follow you
flinched as the floor whined at me
for standing. The sun bore down on me that day
like the headlights of a truck;
I never knew daylight could be so violent.
You blew a blue silver cloud
of nicotine dreams into the air
I watched it drift into the branches
watched it dissipate to nothing.

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