your damp voice slipped against
mossy edges made of limestone

soil-sullied water beaded, then plunked
but did not deter the tone—the sweet,

coppery taste of blood
remains a memory—my own

shadow-smudged candle sputters,
searing the edges of our fading elegy

dragged like yelping dogs long past
the time that earned-love has burned

down to soot-smeared and soggy ash;
snatched away as quickly

as a soaring eagle steals a rabbit,
spied and zeroed in on—

no time to run, no time
to make more mysteries

that unravel the steaming storm
lighting the inside of our skulls

creating love’s longing
one more time

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Annette Gagliardi has poetry published in Motherwell, Wisconsin Review, American Diversity Report, Origami Poems ProjectAmethyst Review, Door IS A JarTrouble Among the StarsPoetry QuarterlySylvia Magazine, and others. She is co-editor of Upon Waking. 58 Voices Speaking Out from the Shadow of Abuse, We Sisters, 2019.  Visit her website at: https://annette-gagliardi.com/
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