Of all the stories I could tell,
my stint of homelessness
outside the produce shop,
the tomatoes I ate past their prime.
My foolishness, drunk
in a taxi, selling my hair
for that plane ticket home.
My failures in looking
for a good life, those lovers
that I could not love, that old
apartment, washing my clothes
in the sink, draping them
on the heat of the radiator—
it is you, that morning I left,
a tender bruise in the rear view
of my heart, telling me not to go.
The story where I was
loved so good and I chose the emptiness
of only telling it.

Sheleen McElhinney is a poet/baker/robot maker living in Bucks County, PA. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Abandon Journal, POETiCA REViEW, Poetry Is Currency, and others. Her book, Every Little Vanishing, was the winner of the Write Bloody Publishing book award and will be released this October.

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