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Letters to the Bat

Five, September

by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

I used to trust the universe.
Now I interrogate suspects.

I wear brass knuckles
When I park in city garages,
But I never look under the car for rapists.

I once wore translucent red lingerie.
Now I sleep in an Air Force tee-shirt.

I would not drag your drunken body
Out of a fire,
But I might disrupt your sleep
At the third or fourth spark.

If time travel were not so dangerous,
I would go back to Five September
And behead your orchids at the door.

I might sit by your mother’s
Claw-footed tub,
Brew her a cup of tea,
Have a kind word for her
And keep her suicide
From threading its dark seam
So raggedly
Through the unraveling cloak of your life.

Copyright © 2011 by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

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