What if we hadn't
fallen in the rain
kissed in the stream
that led to drought

What if your hand
hadn't met the blade
that razed the ground
where mountains stood

What if the guise
that gold days wore
snagged on the nail of
the outhouse door

What if the signs 
that pointed north
were bent at the waist
from the hurricane's force

What if we never 
stayed in the bed that we
were told could not ever
be remade

What if the belt unloosed
its stars and the dogs
howled all night till
the end of days

What if I paid for the chance 
to find a single pearl a rusted
knife pried from a barrel
of uncounted throats

What if dust and ice
alike smudged
everything with saffron-
coated fingerprints

then laid us
down, laid us
down, laid us

* from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

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