Sunday 7/23/2006 12:43:00 AM

The shirt creases to match her hunch. As she leans over the edge. A doorway in the ceiling. A teddy bear in a noose. Plaid flannel tries to remember how soft it should be. Drunken buttons scramble to find the holes they must marry.

He's just a puppy. That is all. Eager to make use of all those sharp teeth. A tail he can't catch despite his control over it.

The dark finds its corners regardless of my blindness. The poison on the arrow sticks no matter the archer's prowess.

There's nothing I can do except admit life is bigger than my palette. Too ugly for the makeup I can disguise it with.

He'll say I lied when all I ever tried to do was avoid it. We'll argue for a while before we decide that it doesn't matter what was wrong.

That right never considered our feelings.

It never had anyone in mind other than itself. It never asked us what we've wanted. It just decided what we deserved.

So easy to be wrong.

I tried to say it hard, but fragile was all I managed. Child wearing her mother's dress. Girl pantomiming sex. One shadow at a time learning the flow of their desire. Drug dealer on the corner giving away the samples.

So many ways to be wrong, even when it's right.

I've never told anyone how it felt. waiting. Hoping to be their word search. Anticipating the found. It doesn't feel like I'm there.

Or like they're looking at all.

No one knows how far I've gone. To be myself.

Chase the raindrops from the window until it doesn't hurt anymore.

Wait for them to tell me I'm not their puppet anymore.

We're both serving the goodbye. Different needles are all we have.

To separate. The here from now.

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