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i’ve got friends in high places

Poetry, al pal


on the day i made a deal with God,

it was just like any other Massachusetts morning in February;

reports of a coming snowstorm and i let my dog out into the yard.

i sat on the steps of the porch and pondered.

i checked the calendar,

it had been six hours and fifteen days since we last spoke.


that day, we sat in a Boston coffee shop and you broke me down bit by bit,

piece by piece, down to the core, and when you got to that,

you held it to your chest and told me you’d be keeping it.

as a souvenir, to remember me by, i don’t know.

you left the cafe but i stayed for another hour or two,

scraped cranberry jam onto my toast and sipped my coffee.

we were together for a long time,

long enough that i guess i was owed a more detailed and personal death.


when i finally went home, i opened the door,

threw my keys wherever,

thought about how i’d regret that later but trudged on to my room.

a year ago, she’d come running, collar jingling,

tail wagging and howl at my presence.

now the bed is empty for two reasons,

no fur tickling my feet and no arms to hold me.


on the day i made a deal with God,

i could only think to ask for one thing.

i was warned that when you trade with such an entity,

you might not get what you expect.

that is fine by me, i said, i’d do anything to get my baby back.


now, before i go to sleep and when i wake up,

the bloodletting process begins.

she feeds on a different part of me each day,

i wear long sleeves in summer to hide the marks.

it doesn’t matter to me that she is killing me slowly,

didn’t someone say to die by what you love?

she bares her fangs, i bare my throat.

 

al pal is a twenty year old disabled, queer poet from Massachusetts.

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