ALL OF THE WOMEN I COULD NEVER BE WITH

Lie upon a golden leaf,
as oil conceals water,
and no matter the intentions
I put forth in crafting
a bountiful shovel
of steely ambition
and misguided generosity
so I may free the child,
I find myself
clutching a colander,
as these women ripple
along the face
of the singular
golden leaf

I have salt.
Do I add salt?

What can be done
to dissolve
these heavy hearts
and mine,
allowing the leaf
to remain as golden
as the morning
I released
the sun upon her,
and laid witness
to her drowning
in the glimmer
of the moon
and its angels

She sank for days,
and suddenly,
I’d forgotten
how to jump,
dive,
and swim,
within one
lapse of the soul

Shall I bind
my feet with stones,
and drift alone among
all of the women
I could never
be with?

But,
have I not been
doing so all along?
My ankles pain
and slow me so.
The differences between
this dragging weight
and my dreadful wait
are few
and so far between:

Equal to,
and maddening so,
the distance
separating
the painted,
singular,
golden leaf
and all of the women
I could never
be with.

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