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she takes her poison
after tea –
before her evening shows
she spins around
the kitchen
and wonders
if he knows

how much of her
remains with him
despite the miles between
how much of her
is captive
to his dreams

once she starred
in color
almost every night
he whispered
while the coffee brewed
for he loved to see her smile

she knows the way
she counts the ways –
every stone by heart
as steps beyond the barn
into the dark

naked feet on hardwood
face against the door –
staring down the darkness
with faith in something more

how much of life is taken
by the breath
that bears us home
a name that tastes the same
is ours alone

. . .