Prelude


Two cardinals perch red against the dark sky, their cross-songs

first question marks, followed by a fugue of ellipses. Prelude:

the word itself holds what eludes me, its shy hint of before and after.

We play the game of which thing we’d rather give up–

food or sleep, sight or strength, an ear or a leg, hiding or seeking–

and next thing I know I’m crying over my crepes,

unable to locate myself in time, the space I wedged open contracting,

my body pinned to a blue chair from an obsolete gift registry

that was prelude to the life I barreled into and out of like a guest.

A whole lemon sits on the old picnic table. It’s anyone’s guess.

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