for jersey girls everywhere

afterwards, you just thought about burning everything.

but this was not a pg-13 love story,
and your neighbor, the one with the hairnet who
had brandished her gardening trowel at you,
would probably just call the cops.

you collected the remnants of the last year
and shoved them under your bed,
hoping that one day you might
be able to read the cards
with their handwritten notes
and not feel a thing.

there were times when you so ached with
that you ran your fingertips over your own shoulders,
stirring memory
because some part of you didn’t want to forget.
some part of you didn’t want to forget the way

he sang to you, the bruce springsteen song
that you can’t listen to even now,
the way he twirled the ends of your hair
around his finger, making knots like those
knots would keep you tangled with him forever,

the earth in his eyes,
the fire in his mouth,
the shimmering air like a halo around your head,
the water in your voice,
the flow and the current of the blood under your skin.

now doors that were opened are locked shut,
and the things under your bed gather dust
and there are sometimes moments when

you can forget the sound of his voice.

the scarring on your heart might one day
lead to complications that the doctors
won’t be able to cure

but for now
you don’t wear the shirts he gave you,
you find some other favorite restaurant,
browse past his favorite james cagney film
on the shelf at the library.

now you bowl twice for yourself friday nights
at couples’ bowling,
the pins falling with the sound of thunder
to accompany
the beat of rain inside you.


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