The night after you left I had a dream
you were sweeping up broken glass, gorgeous arguments, and my hair
from a pale marble floor
looking up at me
with your sad lips
as I was trying to fit in a white dress two sizes too small.
It was scratching across my skin with such pain and grace, that I cried it
wet – this little napkin.

Then the image blurred and distanced
and I saw our baby lodged in the back of an old truck
going to Arizona. She was so scared
of you and me, both of us,
that she stopped screaming.
I returned to my body by the time
all of this had gotten too strange even for a strange life.

When I woke up I did not know how to live
so I put on your coat over mine
and lit a cigar – not to smoke it – it burned while I wept.
I shut my door and relieved my ‘emergency stranger’ off duty
because it was time for me to be lonely.

I did not die that day, somebody else did.
Because people die every day. That is why it is so hard
to pretend that your life
is of any consequence.
I decided not to sleep or dream the next night and
put on my best dress and the worst scarf
over just my skin, clean and glowing,
and opened the front door.