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© David Joez Villaverde

"We can leave anytime we want"
which spoke nothing of our debts
the obligations to everyone
and everything but ourselves

"The city is killing us"
I nodded blankly in affirmation
as if another response
could possibly exist

We split shifts
leaving our bodies
for the glamour of animal husbandry
as the walls closed in
and commerce reared its ugly head
in the nameless streets outside

birdsong and sunbeam
married in the breath
of country air
as the ground swelled before us
in testament to the absolutions
we denied

then back from runnel and warbler
to rooms that feel lived in,
the child who lived beneath the floorboards
and all the ghosts we laid to rest

There was the great ugliness underpinning it all
the hideous tones of our centerpiece
the crying divide between us
and the boilerplate lies
crawling out of the woodwork
of a hundred bygone yesterdays

There were the thoughts best left unsaid
the rank and file emotions
the driftwood apologies
serpentine and winding,
coursing over the lip of the Raquette
into the hangdog afternoons
of our hyphenated lives

There were the things that never changed
the Ansel Adams in your mother’s bathroom
the countless lists that draped the fridge
the sawgrass just below our fingertips
and your smile careening through
the mad whorls of windblown hair
in the onslaught
of autumn grace

There were the last things too
the lies littered in conversation
the anger that punctuated our sentences
the shadows cast on the discarded curtain
underneath the sofa

There we were
with the armoire
in various states of disrepair
and the cabinets unhinged

There we were
complicit and negligent
in the part-and-parcel acrimony
of armistice,
life bleeding through
the joys of living
as morning light
crests over Haystack
and warmth
stings our skin

David Joez Villaverde says he is a poet of little acclaim who lives in relative obscurity in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.