I wish I had understood loneliness better,
the pitch-black joy of it.
I wish I had known your arms were carrying
something too heavy for you to wave goodbye.
Hope is in the last line of cocaine before you drive
to the ER asking for more help than you can give yourself.
There are worse things than being shot at.
[I want to thank Wanda Coleman for not being dead yet]
Regret is wishing you’d never met most of the people in your life.
I wish we hadn’t shared the moon.
I wish I wouldn’t have worn another stripper’s thong.
I wish I believed in forgiveness, even for the dead.
I wish all our boyfriends had had more light living in them.
I wish they hadn’t looked like Mack trucks driving over
fresh bodies unhinge my jawbone and I will tell you
how embers forget to glow.
When you left a message I thought you said whore are you!
but you said you said where are you?
I wish your Honda hadn’t of dove into an ice lake.
[I keep finding bits of you in my poems]
In autumn I’ll rake up all your memories and burn them
in front of the neighborhood mouths open like graves
swallowing little people pills which is a sexier image
than this mess this mess the world has created
for thirty years you’ve crept into my dreams yet
I still never want to see you again.
Yvonne has an MFA in poetry from the University of Central Florida. Her poems have appeared in Vine Leaves Journal, 50Gs, Bending Genres, and elsewhere. She lives and teaches college English in Central Florida.