At Thirty-Two
by Christie Bingham

after Linda Hull

We knew the future: a husband, two kids,
an expansive knowledge of laundry.

We burned long into the night
measuring the flame of our desire

against the faithfulness of Tommy's cleft chin,
against the durability of Billy Turino's broad shoulders.

Each nuance of our weddings planned: the bride
and groom doppelgängers atop the cake,

diamond studs like molecule-diagrams
pinned to our white silk gowns,

names of our future children memorized
like weights on the periodic table.

Our books shut tight, we painted our nails
and considered the occupations of our husbands--

How unsettling to wake to an un-lived life; to know
you were murdered,

body buried in the back of your mind
alongside the atomic weight of Neon.

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