Left Behind Rhetoric 

Two yellow crutches
abandoned on a lawn
in a front yard before dusk.

Four Steves
she knew biblically—
all addicts and alcoholics—now dead.

One by drowning, one by drinking,
one by overdosing, one by who knows.
Who still says “knew biblically”?

Six blocks left
to walk before
the street lights buzz on.

Eight memories of childhood summers
that distract her
from the steps left to take.

Here’s one:
The islander kids would scare her
with their dirty talk

about wet towels and spaces
she didn’t know
she was supposed to protect.

Decades later
she finds herself once again wanting
to scream in jealous fury

(more emphatically than Seth Tiven):
“Get off my island!”
As if she can really claim any place hers.

Who really owns the land
and water surrounding it all
is a question that needs no interrogation point.

So forgive us our no trespassing
signs and the sea glass
we excavated from the sand.

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