Poem for a Red Dress

Forgiveness sneaks through the back door
when you stop waiting up for it

it opens the fridge slow
and drinks milk right from the carton
it peels off its muddy tights
washes them with pine soap in the sink
it passes out on the couch
under a thick, plaid blanket
so you barely see it
when you wake up
different and
stumble into the kitchen

it is smaller than you expected

it has settled
into even the surface of your coffee
and when you swish it around your mouth

you think:
this is so quiet
but this is it
the thing I couldn’t quite make myself

you crouch like a mother at its cheek
and don’t know where to begin

I know I begged for you to come
but I wish you would have called ahead of time 
so I could put on that red dress or at least 
some music.

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