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Heartbreak On the Seven Seas
by Lana Hechtman Ayers

The first time I lost you
it was sunny
The seagulls mistook my eyes
for olives
There was a girl with you
lighting matches

The second time I lost you
it was dark
and the waves were whispering
I listened so hard
my ears bled
and I understood nothing
There was a girl
nibbling on your big toe

Another time I lost you
in a bookstore
I flipped open an atlas
dove into the Salton Sea
to escape the scent
of the girl with you
who had saffron thighs

If I hadn
t lost you in Canada,
that time with the mermaid
in the road
and all those flashing lights
I think I would have been
all right

And we never went to the moon
not together
though you had a Buick
that could go that far
No, that time I lost you
in a crest of stars
the girl with you
winding her spiral nebula
around your waist

This time I lose you at night
the dark mediated by Christmas
religion and the coming
new year
I can
t find my hands
and the girl with you
her hair is a lit aquarium
swarming with parrotfish

The last time I lose you
can never be the last time
s a trail of sand and seaweed
leading from our bed to the window
I would scream if I could
but my voice is a flattened jellyfish
The girl with you is the tide
right now, always,
coming in, in.

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