©1998 by Jennifer Honeycutt. May not be reproduced without permission.

you used to carry time bottled in your hand
like a game board,
a monopoly-buy-the-house-on-boardwalk
kind of time.
i could smell the hurry
hovering around you.

you would always laugh at me,
call me sweetie pie with a snide curl of lip,
slap my face for glaring—
a huge purple handprint was my birthmark
for years.

now you live across the street
but are dying.
i guess i am happy—
i guess that i can live without you.
the hours will crawl by,
the minutes dragging on the ground
without you to pick them up
and sprinkle them over your shoulder like salt.

i won’t miss you, in case you’re wondering.
i’ll just sit here and stare at your watch,
listening to the tick.
i’ll think,
you would love to slap me now,
you would love
to freshen that purple brand on my cheek.

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