Footnotes On Her Disappearance

Your hair under my shirt. Air dented
by a missing presence. Lingering
pheromones in unexpected places.
Was I cooking in here or in love?
When I see you again and you say
you’re doing fine, don’t lie with
your eyes, argue with your boyfriend
when you think I’m out of earshot.
Just be fine. We gave each other so
much, there should be some left
to take with. There’s a book
graspable only in certain lights
that lists the names of all we’ll
never touch again. But the dead
don’t die just to ease our days.
They say when you love someone
they’re with you always. This, too,
can be a curse. They say men look
for their mothers in other women.
So maybe it’s my fault you were
broken and fading, while I held
your hand and tried to think
of something nice to say.

Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the poetry collections Riceland, Trashcans in Love, Grief Bacon, and his newest, The Bottle Episode, as well as his latest novels Goodbye, Mr. Lonely and The Saviors. Bledsoe co-writes the humor blog How to Even, with Michael Gushue, located here: His own blog, Not Another TV Dad, is located here: He’s been published in hundreds of journals, newspapers, and websites that you’ve probably never heard of. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

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