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The way it might be

held me two nights

in a dream of fever.

In the dark hours

on damp sheets,

I arranged the move,

the storage, the travel.

I bought the condo,

furnished it with bright colors.

The way it might be

wrapped me tight

in hot excitement.


I claimed the precedence

of my needs

as if I were the solitary crone,

free to sail the world

standing at the bow

in a muslin jacket

and wide, wind-whipped pants.

The way it might have been

seized the plans

and plunged into the sea.

Drowned the dream with the real:

your needs, your care, your claims.

My ropes floated to the surface,

found me in all the vast ocean.

Cinched tight again.

I lost the way it might have been.