Past Due

"...My loves and not my sentences." ~ Jericho Brown

Every now and then she takes them
out of the folded      
                  square of paper

Tucked under the flap
of an earring box, shriveled now 
and barely      

one from the other—  
bits of cord
cut from       
         a vein of pulsing 

Rinsed and dried of their salt
and merthiolate       tinting
What is it to be
the one that succors  

                     The one that gathers
and tallies and costs
A lifetime of holding
or holding  
           close     Of waiting for what 
right hour to give in to one's
own grief


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