Sometimes I am terrible at saying thank you

“What if you could/ say only one thing for the rest of your life…” ~ Adriana Cloud

What else do you need, you texted
from the convenience store. I asked

for one pen but you bought a pack
of 10 + bonus— blue ink carriages

in their filmy cellophane wrapper
with a double heart. And oh, maybe

a few plastic hangers; but you bought
what you said was the minimum

of 16; and as afterthought, an extra
pack of coffee pods even when I’d counted

what I had and knew there should be enough.
Because I was raised to save every leftover

bit of string, taught to eat the bitter
greens and hold something back

for that proverbial rainy day, I always
want to smooth and re-fold every square

of glossy paper loosened from a gift,
parcel out every part of the butchered

animal so that it lasts and lasts and lasts
until the gristly end. I thought

this was the only way to care for:
like taking one step forward and two

steps back will make sure there’s always
enough to go around. Like after all

these years I haven’t learned the difference
between slowness and patience. Like speaking

warnings instead of carefully going over
the sums makes a better armor for the heart.

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