Everyone stop talking.
I can’t hear
the grief hissing
in my head. It begins

in the heart,
spreads to the lungs
into the throat,
releases behind the eyes.

Not always exposed
through tear ducts.

I can’t hear
your laugh
leftover from the last time
we saw each other.

Decades ago. Drinks
and dancing
inside Euclid Tavern. Yes,
you were dancing.

I was always dancing
back then. We were
on again off again
in high school.

Old friends by the time
we got to that night.

You were destined
for love, marriage, children,
cooking, sailing, cycling—
a life lived large.

For me, the night
to end all nights,
dance to end all dances,
kiss to end all kisses,

you get the idea,
had just happened
in the Flats
the day before.

It would take years of too many
drinks followed by no more
drinks to discover a life
to be salvaged in a northern town.

Everyone stops talking. It has ended
with your heart.

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