There’s a five-lettered word we don’t say, won’t mention
in this house that sometimes reminds me of Missouri
& the sun-bleached cabinets that prevented our viewing
of the polls that night I blamed you for the cages
riddling the border of our favorite state—our home. There
aren’t enough women here to warrant an execution,
but you want to stay. & so I play governor on this island
that turns the color depression makes us every winter.
Christmas is my favorite holiday, but we’ve planted
our evergreen in sand for the third year in a row.
I’d rather be depressed on a beach than on this couch,
but the rough material is close enough to the horizon.
We’re dissolving into chemicals that smell like sulfur,
or chlorine, or another element man-made & impure.
I’m relieved when the algae in our shower turns green
instead of pink, & here’s another color on the spectrum—
wheel of fortune. I keep enough change in my pockets
to call a train away from the plains, or an imagined engine
that will take me far enough to blame your absence
on distance instead of the alcohol that carries you away.
Nothing flies now like it used to when we were younger,
& I wonder if it ever did, how we ever thought it could.