(Artwork by Sarah Tell at Distress Press)

Perhaps there was a tidy spare room on the banks of the Russian River
that you fell into (the room,
not the water),
and before there was such a thing as statistics of the dead and the hospitalized
there was time for scaring up some specifics. All these soldered-together clues of what
we used to chat off-and-on about,
or (take it,
leave it, too) it was in the keeping instead of only the
having that
laid you lower than you
should’ve known. Then there were the…