great lakes

can you swim?

i have uttered my minimalist replies

the footnotes in leatherbound books:

i used to smell the pages of

his entire library.

never let me take books out but

didn’t realize i was locked in ’til the last chapter anyway.

i’m trying to keep it dry here

in the reading room

but you have an ocean swelling

of dismissed plaintiffs.

let the court rise! like the tide

let the record show like a shoreline

let the wreckage sit in my sea

the pages washed away

all smoked out

rolled up into a neat bottle

you can throw

you got a good arm

go ahead

part of me’s waiting.

i know how much just saying that’d upset you,

but i left it in so you’d know i’m ready to be alone

slightly defeatist

don’t think you really learned how to swim

much less read all these books in a day

or a thousand.

i just miss knowing he’d never leave

and feeling understood,

mermaid problems

both fictitious and autobiographical.

i’m sure you’ve stopped reading by now.

you just get more mad when i bring up how sad i am.

you’re not the first or last.

guess you didn’t know i was all

surfboarding and archie comics

not sorry to disappoint

was always taught only to say sorry

when my body feels sorrow

it feels more like a tide pool.

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