a lights out love poem 

A lights out love poem

For those of us who stretched ribbons between streetlights and clung to them, drowning, tattered life lines of pink and satin.

Those of us who struggled to create lifetimes out of dark corners, who tucked wide eyed glances into handbags and pocketbooks, caught and pinned them to cork boards like butterflies. They are still there if you look – in cigarette cases and tubes of lipstick, folded up so small you could mistake them for a shadow.

I always look.

I tell you, for you, I would number every streetlight between here and Aberdeen so we know just how much of this country we lay claim to. I will stretch the dark spaces until they are all worn thin and tear at the edges. So you won’t have to love me with the lights on.

I will couple held hands with twin beds and stretch this tightrope so tight it is hard to catch our breath. So that when it snaps you can blame me for tugging and walk away unscathed. The way I planned it.

And this time next year

I will tie my hair with pink ribbon and pretend I am not still caught up in the way you used to say my name.

And some day

And I will lose track of the streetlights. I will sit on a bench at sunset and watch as one by one they all flicker

back

to life.

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