poem: unexpected afters

people do not tell you that heartbreak physically hurts

that I can put my thumbs to my chest, and, coughing,

tell you linear stories of blue demon veins,

the sticky fingers of the unseen cut in my blood-caverns

the spot between my breasts sore, a waking pain

and your memory like pine-acid. little ghosts

lick their lips and

their lisps and laugh at me

when I speak of it: virgins drown themselves for a reason, they say, you

are only one of many.

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