Why Do I Sing Like This, Not That?

Looking to learn
from another field of lilies,
she hears more
than the young singer’s voice.

The whole of her doomed
love life tucked precisely between
the notes of her saddest tune.
As if

she might touch death’s velvet
rope there. She sees,
no, she feels
a stirring in the grass—

it takes a moment
to identify the solo snapping
turtle as it makes its way
from the city park pond

to higher ground.
Is it seeking some loose, moist loam
to lay its clutch in?
Is it even a she?

The wild act might have been
last night,
or some particularly solitude-breaking one
last year. Imagine the delay.

After all that, she doesn’t even wait
to see if the eggs hatch,
if her hatchlings survive. Most won’t.
A forward momentum no matter how slow.

She listens to “Darker Things”
for the tenth time that morning.
It’s been such a long time
since a song destroyed her so utterly.

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