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.

Birds whooped.

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

sinewy edifice.

 

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

anyways.

 

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.