“I pity the woman who will love you
when I am done. She will show up
to your first date with a dustpan
and broom, ready to pick up all the pieces
I left you in. She will hear my name so often
it will begin to dig holes in her. That
is where doubt will grow. She will look
at your neck, your thin hips, your mouth,
wondering at the way I touched you.
She will make you all the promises I did
and some I never could. She will hear only
the terrible stories. How I drank. How I lied.
She will wonder (as I have) how someone
as wonderful as you could love a monster
like the woman who came before her. Still,
she will compete with my ghost.
She will understand why you do not look
in the back of closets. Why you are afraid
of what’s under the bed. She will know
every corner of you is haunted
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