Before I leave for good, I lift the pie server a final 
time, drop the receipt facedown next to the lemon 
blueberry slice, then my apron in the parking lot

like a betting ticket. There a Gallopalooza, stationary 
as all the others scattered across the city—greets me. 
I move on. I’m looking for animation. 

Can’t go home, so, I disrobe in a stranger’s yard,
wash the batter away with a garden hose, then ride 
the night bus like a carousel. Static girl. Moving room 

of mirrors. Stilled blue bolts streaking the dark—
there & then not—a stream of atoms pulled 
from my cheek. I’m splitting. Coming apart. 

I’m leaving & being left. I’m looking for you 
in all your haunts, until I realize I will find you 
at one of my own: In the long field, 

synced lightning bugs near their show’s climax. 
In the brief flashes of cold light, a glimpse of your coat 
Black as flight. When they move on, it’s just us, 

six legs to the ground, still as statues, touching flat 
the bridge of our noses. When you release 
your wings, they swing wide as a gate. 

The air lifts the snakes from my shoulders. 


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Published: March 2, 2020