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Poetry

'Til I'm Blue in the Face

by Barrett Warner


    My eyes veer off the road
    and I hop the shoulder
    and the crash rolls back my skin,
    rolls back the old post and rail fence
    rolls back the silky song of marrow
    spun from a jag of bones.

    A hawk raises off the ground
    and I hear sleigh bells in June.
    This is when I forget her name
    and what she looked like
    and how she kissed my neck.

    Memory tears away from my head
    until the only thing I know
    is singing nöels
    in a garbled, tuneless voice.

    "We Three Kings" and "Silent Night,"
    pine boughs over the mantle,
    bourbon in the pewter,
    the ribbons in her hair
    like small Christmas haikus.

    "How much do you love me?" she was saying.
    "'Til I'm blue, blue in the face" was I.

 

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