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Your Name Embroidered On It

A poem by Sarah Galvin

There will be a meteor shower at 3am,

this Kate Bush album is good,

Nick, who I sort of knew, died yesterday—

I tell you anything.

I told you when a guy in Pioneer Square 

yelled at me, “Someone just 

died back there!”

I heard sirens

Then he added, “Ya got a nice butt!”

I could think of 

no better response to death.

I told you that when Nick died I pulled his old bag, 

embroidered with his nickname, “Fingers,”

from under my bed and cried, 

thinking of a painting he made 

of a refrigerator with a forest inside it.

I told you the lace of peeling gray paint

surrounding an electrical meter

which no one else would notice but you

made me feel like a moderately-priced car 

rattling from outrageously

loud, clear speakers.

All these words would be depleted by your absence

like the word “Fingers” on that bag

I could walk around complimenting strangers’ butts,

except “butts” would mean something different if you died

and so would “compliments.”

I wouldn’t know what to pull from under my bed

or put back.

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