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by Stuart Ross

“Just give me one more day,”
he says. “I will eat a tiny piece of bread”
maybe stare out the window.
Yeah, I will lie in this unmade bed,
his one more day. It’s not
like I have big plans.

“I’ll rub my chin, won’t shave.
Look how thin my fingers
have become. Just one more day
to think of her, the way
she turned to look at that heron
swooping over the water.
And then cram me into the earth.

“The way she turned
and what she wore,
and the thing she said. I don’t
remember the thing she said.”

It is Thursday.
He gazes at the ceiling,
feels the mattress against
his limbs. This is what it is like
to feel the mattress against his limbs.

He sees the crack in the ceiling
he’d meant to caulk. He sees
a crow fly by his window,
hears a car horn below.
“Just Friday,” he says.

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Published in Arc 62: Summer 2009
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