lemon extract

I tried to sing you to sleep When pain slept next to you,

snoring in the TV light.

That pain whose face is blurred,
a bystander in the photo of the criminal on the evening news.

She played with your paper dolls,
Drank whiskey and lemon extract with you

from the kitchen cabinet,
Slept with you in the living room

when your bedroom was haunted.

She walked with you and your dog in the moonlight above the freeway,

Lived in your ashtray your socks
the barrel of your gun.

You packed her in your suitcase when you left for college.

Her skin stayed smooth as yours grew crows feet and cellulite.

I watch her hair fanning on the pillow, and I pity her immortality.

Because you and I will escape this world one day,

But she will pass on
to the next generation.