mouse, anatomy of pp. 308-309
Life before the banshee beckoned: frenzied and flushed, a floral dress falling for all to see.
We left board games to dust.
They became our half-strung art projects
like the summer jars never
home to lightning bugs.
I’d sit across from paper wasps and Daddy Long Legs
with an encyclopedia.
Dust jacket long discarded, its
pages creased at any glimpse of skin.
A mistress in the night, with a pack of Camels and wrong batteries for the alarm clock.
We got too naked our first time.
The frogs blushed.
Crawlies sidled against our muddy toes.
They were delicate limbs and gentle,
heretofore pocked with a grace.
Straggled realities unbefitting of their
Square 8s need 9 volts and I knew that. Wanted to see if she would part with the crumpled bills this time.
A two-for-one of pest control I didn’t ask for.
A value pack I didn’t know I needed—
Never thought I had mice to trap, but
she had eyes and I had only Daddy Long Legs.
We weren’t five minutes in
when she got her money’s worth.
Which was fine with me because I
lost the encyclopedia earlier
and wouldn’t have hung much longer
We were standing over the dying rat and I noticed she hadn’t bothered wiping me from her face.
I could marry you.
She hoisted the macabre union and tossed it in the trash,
which ushered in that block of sadness and worry
everyone gets when they get to thinking about gone books
and dead batteries and broken spines
and whatever else we throw away.