What does it mean, this state
I have never been and never plan on entering.
Nothing except the place my ex-husband and sperm
donor to my children, stealer of light, selfish bastard
that he is, moved for a couple months. He crossed
a time zone for a piece of ass. Not an easy piece,
a bipolar, borderline, needy piece. And diabetic
at that, posing on her social media site, glucometer
in hand like a consolation prize. Wisconsin.
The place from which he thought he could
commute, commit. Every other weekend to uphold
his court-ordered visitation. But her body
was too much temple for such a confirmed agnostic.
The tongue was swollen, the shock
of his two children dripped through her like sugar.
Like a poison. A coma. Wisconsin
didn’t want him either. Pennsylvania
Domestic Relations and my lesbian attorney
shouldered the blame for one in a series of failed loves.
The shit being otherwise taken in
is the first attraction. Anonymous
gift, a welcome second. Your hands
never having laid
claim to my body, mouthless,
removal of inferior opinion given
every other weekend, undoing
lessons I have struggled to teach, guilt
of failing to bite my tongue every time
your name is mentioned in some false
revision of history, all compete for
third best feature of absent father.
No consolation prize, dangling carrot
of monetary support. No dream
to wake from, half a lifetime
later with the nagging sense of déjà vu,
should have known better regret,
a glass of champagne spilled,
a gold band tossed over a bridge.
No one heard it hit bottom,
a tree falling in woods without witness,
silent solitary oak pulling strength
from the center of the earth
to hold its knotted branches.
An amazing equation,
half the formula simply deleted
April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania and is working on her first several collections of poetry and an autobiographical novel on raising a child with Autism. Her work has appeared in Poetry Salzburg, Pyrokinection, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Rainbow Rose, The Camel Saloon, The Applicant, The Mindful Word, Napalm and Novocain, Jellyfish Whispers, The South Townsville Micro Poetry Journal, The Weekender Magazine, Deadsnakes, Winemop, Daily Love, WIZ, and is forthcoming in Inclement, Poetry Quarterly, Decompression, Work to a Calm, and Windmills.
with the sum equaling the same.