Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hands

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you’re every “baby” in all the songs that I know

leaving a trail of bobby-pins wherever you go

another lagniappe in the attire of worried-through weekdays

just the way we’d tip and totter out of clothes

as the weather dissected our perfunctory moods

locked up like in an antelope trap’s jaws

set to blare with a few coinciding alarms

making up new lyrics to standards

out of all context to bray like little kids on candy

step it up

or to it

all shook loose from disagreeable kicks

with too many failed goodbyes on hold

like the world was

in a then we used to always have

baby baby baby

in the crook of your neck’s crane

in the never-read creases on your palms

crimpled and crinkled along the folds and getting older still

the lights going down

getting later earlier and earlier

baby

clomping away in rain boots or heels

write the weather a tactfully angry letter

why don’t I

make something of yourself

to get testy with

around the time it takes to whiff your presence

and crave another unhinged donut run

or to be on any cockeyed airplane that lands heavy in a bar

because nobody chews only one piece of gum at a time around here

baby

and we’re always off to less of the different

with barrettes and bows fastened in your clumsy hair

singing baby baby baby

or falling asleep to the sound of trains

nobody’s spitting seeds while they’re driving truck late through Ohio

or watering wild kale in a stranger’s backyard

anymore

baby

sometimes the shoes you’re never put in

get to be the ones you can’t stop wishing you could still wear

properly dignified and demonstrative

enough to puke consonants and mispronounce Van Gogh in a huff

so flicker a glare from those custardly eyes so high and dry

right on over to this here

just a cold cold whisper from any other there

baby

don’t write any of this down

baby

keep your eyes on the road ahead

instead

baby

douse the lights already

and

baby

call me

just

call me

baby

over and over and over

baby

one last time

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