Thomas J. Erickson
January 2012

They are trying to start
over. It’s a rambling ride with stops
and starts. When she feels like she can’t
do it again she thinks of killing herself
but death is too busy for her right now.

Her friends all meet in a group and say
things like only talk to him four times
a week
and tell her to depend
on a higher power
. She talks to her
dog who feels worn out.

He takes the long view because
his hands have been burned by all
the re-ignitions. It’s funny, he thinks,
how the clock has stopped between the two
ticks that separate one day from the next,
how time is just a series of perpetual presents.

To his surprise, she has turned the knife
toward him. Should he disarm her? No.
Better to be stabbed and stabbed—
she can’t kill him now anyhow.

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