Recounting the Streets

Foot 5
By Danielle Mitchell

Your peace should be that you changed nothing to love him.
Suffered no routine of cabinet checks & double locked doors;
the way he constantly paced & smoked & twirled your hair.
That you did not let him sleep beside you with a bat. Did not
watch us disintegrate into absent need. Follow his dust. Did
not lay awake with him recounting the streets in
Afghanistan— the one he walked down; the hole his foot
slipped into where the IED did not go off. He was a ghost.
Light on his boots. He emptied himself of the house. But he
said, it would go off. That it would destroy everything & you
know by everything he meant that’d he’d leave the bat. & I
would need it. & I’d sleep beside it for years expecting to
wake up with it lodged deep in my throat.

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