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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 3, September 2013


Erika Lee Williams
Goodland, Kansas, USA

Storm Season

sirens quiet . . .
in still water

My therapist doesn’t tell me I was wrong for loving you or for wanting to name our first daughter after you, but you wanted two boys you could name Remus and Romulus—sons of the god of war. Some summers the memory of you has brought childlike terror when I’ve felt the night breeze through my open window. But this year it moves quickly through, stripping me of pleasure as well as pain, but not of words.

“Our relationship was colorful . . . ” I tell her (the chalk dragon we stumbled on at twilight . . . the yellow Mexican blanket where we smoked after you did my dishes . . . a fresco of pink clouds yielding stars as house lights went down); and “tangible . . . ” (my improvised torte beside the cheap beer in your fridge . . . the rose you broke from someone’s bush on your way to my apartment . . . the poem you forced beneath my door . . . the night of late-spring rain that I came to your bed but the alcohol had made it so we couldn’t make love . . . my words It’s okay. We have time.)

I continue with my therapist, “And it was visceral.” (Using scissors from my desk to cut off the hair you gripped the night you declared war on my body . . . your tear-filled eyes days or weeks later when you pressed your pistol to your temple . . . you asking softly, “Do you want me to pull the trigger?”)

purple bindweed
the deep roots
of never-made apologies



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