After the Party

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Michael Lavers

Your hair was sweet and it hung
down in rivers long enough
to lap against my knee. By long, I mean
shorter than now, and tucked
behind an ear. I loved you then, which is to say
I needed you to love me. We left the party,
drove the Buick back to your house in the dark.
Instead of going in, you asked me to keep
driving. I hoped you meant
don’t ever stop. You slept beside
me while I drove in right-angled circles around
your block. My sadness did its best to beat
back desire. By desire, I mean
seeing you in the lamp light holding a child on your hips,
hips that seemed to be part of the body
of a woman
who holds a life in her hands.

I did not say any life, but my life.
I do not mean my life, but your life.

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