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Special Edition: Elizabeth Bayou-Grace


Fire in Paradise

The first time I saw Texas on fire, dazed

and complicit in the driver’s seat, her


clouds rising out over the back of hill

country rising, I thought for a moment,


with such relief: rain.

A break from the sun


and never setting. Maybe by tonight,

I thought with such relief, we’ll sleep. But fire


was eating whatever wind it may. I

used to think living forever young was


the endgame. Under sun, the years swift pass

unnoticed. Fake plastic trees live longest.


No one will tell you when you’re growing sick,

Elizabeth. They’ll say thin. Have you seen


how the summer brays and flaunts? Vogues and screams.


*


Remembering The Day Before My Marriage

Most people are disappointing.

Around me, the ones I have loved fail

to rise and become. Great brains pickled

in jars, to be placed on a shelf.


As if to be used later.

Saved for good company. Silver locked up

in glass cabinets. My mother,


she used to only use the good silver

for the holidays, but she liked

the way it felt on her teeth

better, and one morning

she put it all in the regular drawers.


The silver gets tarnished, a little ugly,

but it still feels better on the teeth.

The good stuff becomes daily wear.


I think for a while there,

I was hoping all the good stuff was to come.


R. was dancing in kitchen / bedroom

in Little Pink House by the river,

as he made us one last late night snack

before we slept unwed

for the last time.


We took it all off the shelves.

The good stuff.

The daily wear.








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