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leaving :: tarfia faizullah

by on November 8, 2015

Mornings I lie next to your sleeping
body, the amputated light grown long

as my father’s old stethoscope hung
over a bent nail, half-expecting

to see, as I did then, vestiges
of that time when I begged

Father not to pack the infected tug
of flesh inside my shoulder with bandages.

I learned how bones can betray and sag,
then freeze into the shape of something

like an arm. He never could forgive
himself for falling asleep while driving,

and so I left him, arm healed, to his grief.
He did not beg me to stay, and the dogged

persistence of his hammer pounding
nails into the boards over my door rings

fresh regret into me as I tell you I’m leaving,
that my arm need not lift across you any longer.

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