You who fell to your knees You who proposed after the ambulance took the woman we found bleeding at the foot of the stairs Her husband down the block yelling I never forget a face If they hurt her Iâll kill you your ancestors your kids Tell me: how can you kill someone already buried or burned? When Billy showed up drunk and beaming he didnât ask why you knelt why I held your hat over your face paint slashed like lips on the brim Billy handed me a Hersheyâs Kiss warm from his pocket I wore a white knit dress: nineteen on Inis MeÃ¡in I bought the cheapest piece in the store I knew Iâd always regret going home without something authentic Sunny who sat outside his bar shadows falling under the dusty awning Sunny a faint light in white jeans linen shirt, half tucked in white beard sailing in the salted air Sunny who died last week but that night said, You look like an angel. I said back, God. Falling into a hug: You look like God. Sunny trailed his ï¬ngers through my hair thick and wild in the salted wind sweat forming curls on my forehead Billy who saw your eyes glaze laced his ï¬sts into a prayer Billy who watched as you said I love you at Sunnyâs for the ï¬rst time Billy blocked your ears then your eyes Nichole LeFebvre
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Aug 9, 2017
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