I swallow the memories of our time
together, choking on the chunks,
the happiness, random and coated,
overly sweet. Clear away the last residual
tastes of doubt, could-be’s and what-if’s,
with a final dramatic inhale. Cleansed,
my vocabularic palette shines, rejuvenated
by the melodic explosion of conjoined syllables,
repressed far too long. Released,
the echo encompasses my body, reminds
of the power of oration. The enchanted tone
of regeneration smiles through
the proper enunciations of goodbye.
the way you looked when you said
you didn’t love me. When you said
you tried, but . . . I tuned out the rest,
having heard all its variations in the past,
focused instead on the shape of your mouth.
I recognized its shape, a record player’s,
broken, your tongue a needle, skipping and
scratching the same scar deeper into my heart.
A.J. Huffman has published eleven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), and Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications) are now available from their respective publishers. She has two additional poetry collections forthcoming: Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press). She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2300 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com.