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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Love's Necklace

Carol first, who when she liked me back I stopped liking, and

Sandy—the first Sandy—who Jimmy Beeler also liked, who told me in gestures I drove her crazy. Then

Kim, for a very short time then

Julie off and on and

Pam, for about two years. I once loaned her fifty cents which she made me happy by taking a long time to repay.

Nancy, of course, then

Janet. I danced with Janet. Then,

Paula, next, I guess, but she was gay, then

Madeleine. Almost Madeleine.

Kathy, who died.

Joan, who quit McDonald’s the day her sister said to me, “Why don’t you ask my sister out?”

I don’t know why, exactly.

Abby, who laughed a lot when we ordered steak and who was served a margarita though she was only seventeen. Then the second

Sandy, for years and years and years, right through

Sue, and

Peggy—for a minute or two—and

Michelle—who was also gay—until I met

Cathy, whom I married.

And there it ends—though nothing ends. Not really. Not in time. Ghosts and shadows run through time, beads upon beads on a string—

This is my poem for you, for you who knew and you who’ll never know how much I told myself I could not live without you. I wear you out of time, light or heavy, on this chain around my neck.

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