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R u m m y   P a r k

b y   R e b e c c a   L u   K i e r n a n

12.   Debriefing

We shriveled by the gazebo that december night,
He, with a blue jean pocket full of my impending tears,
Me in a crocodile embossed leather jacket
Padded with valentines from the future,
But not enough to stop the assassination
Of April twenty-second.
The sun had surrendered
To the suggestion of snow,
Drowning itself
In the Gulf of Mexico,
Vanishing in the milky emerald
And cotton candy blue,
Surrounded by vulture feather and shark fin.
He reached for my hand.
I turned away,
To see the circus setting up in town,
Willows trimmed with garish silver lights,
Bed decorated with smoke and mirrors,
And we, with no facade of ease
Juggled knives and fire on a fraying trapeze,
Got so good at sawing each other in half,
New fractions every day.
We lived on funnel cakes and hot dogs,
Set up housekeeping in the disappearing box,
Became professional at cheap tricks and slights of hand.
Of course, a pick-pocket was running loose,
To which we had natural immunization.
What thief would steal a promise of tears?
It's a miracle I walked away from that,
But destiny that I walked in,
To feel love's slimy underbelly
Crawling through my stupid valentines of glitter,
To flinch when I feel the fang over my vein,
To learn to catch knives with my hands,
Emerge from the fire
Naked, clean
To this park festooned in Christmas ribbon
Where you will step out of a dream
To ask where I have been all your life
And I can only say,
A silence, a shadow, a cold war away.

poetry & photos © 2006 Rebecca Lu Kiernan

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