While Stacking Cans of Vegetables
by Ellen Bihler

Rehashing a clash of rudeness at the market,
she forgets to remember
again, that he's gone.
The story will stay caged behind her teeth.

Stacking cans of vegetables he hates,
she smiles at the victory.
Her clothes have eaten the extra closet space,
but her body won't cross to the right
side of the bed.

__She thinks of the girl.
__The way he called her hair
__his golden wheat.
__The way he wrapped around
__like a corset keeping her
__wild parts from flying off.
__Everything he gave her.
__Everything she gave away.

She tastes mint over tobacco
cut with periodontal decay.
Smells day old sweat mingled
with boredom rising from the couch cushions.
It's unnerving. This resurfacing at
odd moments.

__That girl!
__The one who wore thin strapped shoes
__and danced like prairie grass
__in his breeze.
__The one who embraced his sagacity
__like scripture.

Rides a comb through her hair like a tractor.
His wheat field plowed under.
Her dandelion spore proliferates.

Tired now.
Tired of remembering to remember.
Tired of how long it takes for the dead
to die.

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