By James Diaz

in lieu of love
she gave me tea leaves
spread out on a road map
she said rain bores her senseless
and I said senselessness reminds me of rain
of collateral damage
dead birds and parking lot trash
sadness in sculpted laughter at the end of a dark hall
in lieu of urgency she gave me rain checks
palygrounds lit up by a bad moon
North Dakota bundled into air steaming from her mouth
she never once said life is sad
she doesn’t state the obvious
she makes me work for beauty
forces my hand onto the table
she’s working knives like it’s all in the wrist
hit or miss
you are weird and wonderful
she doesn’t say this, but when the blade lands and misses
I know it’s what she really means.

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