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Keep the Faith


I should have locked it up when I had it | hauled it

in my Holly Hobbie lunch box | kept it

in the carport, cubbyhole, brass flask, bunker | slammed it

in my locker and tossed the combination | I should have

gifted it vespers, backhanded compliments, trivets

of iron | I should have pressed it against the wall,

compared it to beauty | I should have bought it a canister of Truth

or Dare, salt truffles, vintage perfume | should’ve negged it,

gushed, collected a liter of buttons to push | nursed it in the bell-

shaped hive, licked every sticky cell then told it

to go to hell | I should have watched it drift, balloon gone

limp, microtear in the rubber till nothing was left

but a shrivel of color | I didn’t mean it, I could’ve promised—

Don’t take this wrong… | I could’ve written it a sonnet | crooned

it didn’t belong | I should’ve bred chickens, crushed a thousand

eggs, obliged it to walk the shells then whispered it

sweet nothings | I should have disguised insults as questions,

let it be known its silence grates the nerves | should’ve coaxed it

from the wicker hamper, talked it out of the ragbag, mixed it a gimlet |

I should have brought it breakfast on a tray, every day

a vase of daisies | trolled it, told it it wasn’t worth shit | cooed, cried,

seduced, denied | begged it | bled it | as it writhed in the net

like a fish fished out of the bay, I should have tightened my grip |

I should have gone down on it | dropped to my knees and swore—

before family and God, any fool with a heart—to forsake

all others | till death do us part, I should have forced it to stay 



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