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Under Ground MAG
A week ago the sign on
the metal gate said
“No admittance after dark.”
A week ago, I'd have listened.
Tonight, though, no one keeps me out.
There was no lock,
so I stole inside
like death himself.
In the semi-dark of twilight,
I can see my reflection mirrored
a hundred times in black granite.
You would laugh if you could see me,
wearing a black skirt and blazer,
my hair French braided.
You'd say I looked like a teacher,
and you'd pull my braid and smile.
A week ago, I'd slap your hand.
Tonight, I'm going to Toyland.
That's what the diggers called it.
Where all the kids are.
I can see slouched, sad little teddy bears,
and I know I'm in the right place.
I see the names, their birthdays,
and look for the right one.
A week ago, you'd have come with me.
I finally find it:
A little green plastic marker.
Too soon, I guess, for the headstone
to be finished. Maybe
forever isn't long enough to carve
a person's death into marble.
Or maybe time just passes slower to me
than it did a week ago.
A week ago we listened to the radio.
I hum the song
that played every half hour.
The one that drove you crazy …
I falter a little
in the dark.
This is where you'd make a face.
Where I'd laugh
and change the station.
That was a week ago.
Now, the only thing stopping me
from singing about
big green tractors
is the fact that I can hardly breathe.
I slide to my knees on the ground,
just trying to be closer to you.
I whisper to the night,
hoping you can hear:
“I miss you.”
A week ago, you would have held me
while I cried.
But a week ago, I wouldn't have been crying.
Because a week ago, I didn't have my
fingers in the sod,
trying to hold onto you, reach you.
I wasn't sobbing your name
to the stars that hold you away from me.
I wasn't collapsing to the ground,
hoping that someone would shoot me, too.
I wasn't humming the song you hated,
praying for an impossibility.
A week ago, I'd be dreaming in my bed,
my subconscious never dredging up
I'd never have dreamed
that in seven little days,
I'd be lying over your body,
confusing sleep with death and
closing my eyes
with you gone forever; even though
you can't be more
than six feet under ground.