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by Livia Meneghin



you’re making tea
i hear the kettle

there are bluebirds singing outside 
you don’t hear them—
            —you used to
            when we’d take walks
            without reason besides a chance
            to hold hands

 i have a graycloud
but hide it from view

 i go into our kitchen and say:
           it’s raining      can you help me
you don’t hear me either




you used to leave me
                                    hand-picked wildflowers
i’d come home to see           
                                    a vase on my desk
you—already asleep
                                    amid a dream
but you didn’t know
                                    sometimes i can’t stop shaking
i was afraid i’d break
                                    the glass

                                     when i told you this
           you stopped






once i shook so hard i couldn’t move           
and the graycloud came too
i whispered for you from the porch                                    
this time you heard me
held my hand without my asking                                                                   
you said
the moon is low but you can still see the stars

we sat for an hour                                                                             
i couldn’t find them




you and i walked down the beach
imagine if we saw the sun
i kneeled to observe hermit crabs
i brought them up to my face and

i placed them back
to catch up to you walking ahead        
my body was full                 of sand
imagine if we saw the sun despite

my weather i couldn’t tell whether
you wanted me                 to follow
you thought of me as            shade
                     or suffocating shadow

i imagined swimming                far
beyond where we were      
where i couldn’t            remember
                 what color eyes you had


you became a ghost—faded from sight, sank into the floors and always kept your door shut—what if I sat you down on my bed and told you

to count the hairs on my head, said you couldn’t leave until you were done?
What if I promised I’d get up early to taste the dew, convince myself I could be

still and not to disturb you on the other side of the wall between us?
What if I lied—
said I could see the stars and be still at night. What if I never let you

  let go?

Livia Meneghin is the author of chapbook, Honey in My Hair, published by Finishing Line Press. Her poems are published or forthcoming by the Rockvale Review, Poeming Pigeon, New Square Magazine, the Franklin & Marshall AAR, and elsewhere. Her essays can be found at Born in Italy, Livia has since lived in England, Greece, and the US, including three states; she is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.