Emily I & II

from by Justin Henderson

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Before darkness approached some time near 1885--
can you recall? The earth was too much
and heaven not enough.

Had i known that hate--
crooked, hallow--
too well?
Dreadful leak of the mind:
was it keeping you down?

When thoughts become tight, Emily,
and articulation leaves you behind--

Thirsty, mopping up, with a pain in her side.
Indecisive, she paces and ponders the meaning of life.
But the glass on the floor cuts her feet as she's lost in her thoughts,
and the warming sensation reminds her of family she's lost.

Crack the knots in your spine, Emily.
Feel it crumble and shift into line.

Now across from that moss-ridden mess, your tired old home,
I'm pacing alone. Your house sits untouched.
And I worry too much about thoughts meant to break;
Emily, I'm afraid.
I still stare at your door. There's still glass on your floor.

My thoughts are too tight, Emily.
I struggle to speak and I've fallen behind.

That echoing wave when she's been here before--
her jar breaks, her wires cross,
and her mind slips in tandem with the patterns on the floor.

It's such a strange sound.
I only wish I could forget, because
my mind is clear, my floors are clean, my jar's not broken yet.


from Emily, released August 17, 2014



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Justin Henderson Portland, Oregon


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