were on the shades when I left

this morning, the bitter cold biting

my cheeks. Threw my voice in the wind

prayed it wouldn’t come back

until you come 


back. They were on the shades when I left,

blots of ink on white plastic 

peering through the slats

at all the bodies I’ve collected

in bottle caps, my morgue

those pilgrims never found

the promised, the holy 


land. There is an outcast, been glued for days

on the lampshade

I pointed it out yesterday

to ease the tension between us

I’m sorry I always make you read the worst

photographic memory never letting you erase

the punctuation marks, syllables, I’m afraid

the pilgrim on the lampshade has been dead


for days. I arranged their bodies in a pile

of coins on the dinner table

you called them dragons, then, sleeping

on their horde of quarters and pennies

but their [good] luck ran out, those pilgrims

traveling the white walls of your apartment

until they couldn’t remember their own names

and I called them alcoholics, dead


you left on time, my lips curling with pleasure

didn’t rise from bed early, thinking about our escape

that three hour drive north, cradling gas station

hot dogs in our hands, eating over paper boxes

in my car. Spent the night in the Dark Sky Park

where you whispered in my ear,

Do you want to know a secret? I brought it for you

to the noise of the crashing lake waves

you never tasted of


mistakes. When we got home the next day, pilgrims

stuck to the walls like chewed gum, overrunning the place

I wish I knew the sins

they have been, ever since,

trying to erase

we gathered them in boxes, flung

their livelihoods out the door. We

tried giving them an escape

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