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Loose Ends
by Angela Peñaredondo

Two dried orchids float
inside my canvas bag. The strap
hung sideways and drooped.

Three years gone,
a gift seemed appropriate.
My feet still knew the curve down

that unmarked path.
It illuminated, even with
my eyes closed. I took my time.

The porch light
of your uncle’s storefront, lusterless.
I could blow out the light in one huff.

Oh night,
does not conceal the walkway
where you laid each bright stone.

Under the teak beams
near the entrance, you strung out
a hammock like fabricated wings,

wrapping me in a pod
when I burned with fever.
I slept while you brought me

tea with dried fish in lime;
warm camotes for breakfast.

The one shell anklet
you gave, I never took off. It has long
been swallowed up by soil and root.

As I approach,
my chest pulses like a moon
that wants to exhale. I may never know,

but how badly I want to.


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