Leah Mueller

Queen of Pentacles
 
Forty dollars:
a moderate sum
for front-row seats
to the latest debacle.
 
She bought you with
a couple gin and tonics
and a plate of flesh.
 
Two thousand miles:
a trip you’ll never take
again, because
 
eventually you’d need
to work for love.
 
Your colleague complained 
that you were lazy, left 
tasks for him to do.
 
I can’t clean up
your soiled bathroom,
the moldy shower curtain
hanging upside down to dry,
 
or the fan that 
runs for hours 
to hide all traces of your habits.
 
Your blinds pulled down,
your phone shut off
and never charged.
 
So much I was unwilling
to witness: even as I
rode your bicycle
with its flattened tires
 
and was struck 
by a random motorist
a few blocks from your home.
 
How I wish
I had loved anyone else,
even a stranger in a bar,
 
or someone from the internet
wearing a cowboy hat,
looking for an honest woman.
 
At least I would know
where I stood. But you
slip like rain through crevices,
find the lowest ground,
 
as I swim in 
your leaden puddles,
searching for sky.

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