Jul/Aug 2008 spotlight

What I can't ask

by LeeAnn Pickrell


What I can't ask

Did the plum trees blossom first?
Or was it the magnolia beyond
your desk's window? Did you

prune the roses? Did the pink tulips
bloom on the cat's grave?
Is the stone you cast still there—

"fourteen years of attitude and tuna"—
a memorial for the cat I brought to us?
And the new one, is she getting

enough to eat? That photo
at the edge of a canyon, where
even sitting we leaned too close—

did you remove the fortune
taped beneath, a promise in a cookie—
stop searching, happiness is

right beside you? I almost
called to ask. Did you forget to include
in the paper bag of photographs and cards,

the empty heart box with the
memories of us drawn on paper slips
you placed beneath each chocolate?

Did you throw it out?
Or keep it? Does your heart
still trip ahead of itself? Did you know

the signs of a broken heart are so close
to those of a heart attack you can't feel
the difference between them?


Previous Piece Next Piece