He said he would hang himself
so as not to make a mess.
But he was still there the next day.
And the next. And the next.
He wrote the note for the cops
on a page he tore from my favorite book
of poems. That’s all I saw of it—
in absence—the ripped-out page
like a jagged fin down the spine.
What is my body but a rainstorm?
What are my bones
but flightless shards of light?
I did not feel secure,
though I married the only man
I believed was safe. Two children.
Three dogs. The dying cat.
Papers signed and unsigned.
The woman who pasted her face
over mine in our pictures
and mailed them as proof of their affair
before she tried to kill herself.
This, too, he does not tell me.
In the dream, he cuts
the air around my body
with a giant pair of scissors,
until I am small as a ring-box.
In I go, with the rest
of my clothes, to the cardboard crate
where dress-sleeves stick out
like the arms of paper dolls. I nestle there.
I fold and fold. I try to disappear.