Hook Lines on Harvest Moons in June

a poem by Jess Harrison

All of a sudden –
the leaves were there
on the trees. & the grass
was green again.

The lilacs bloomed – bright
& big & beautiful in her
backyard. But even with the sun
every afternoon – the petals
started slowly shedding themselves
one, by one.

The taste of blood was so pronounced
as it slowly trickled
down your throat – metallic
& warm. You swallowed
it along with every word
you actually needed to say –
but couldn’t form.

It wasn’t his fists that did
the damage. It was every promise
pledged – yet not delivered.
It was every night you waited
to sleep, hoping to hear
some news. & it was every morning
you woke again, holding
your pillow like a prayer,
tracing the outline of an empty
silhouette, listening to the sound
of stilled silence.

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