Ari, plump lips ever plumper from a busy night
hair mussed after his hands,
at the sight of the empty half of the motel bed.
Her wallet, 18-karat bracelet and pride
are missing from the nightstand.
She, with her Southern hospitality,
fell for the sting.
But it’s her heart that swells.
Nessa is haunted by her little girl’s laugh,
echoing round her too-big house,
at odds with the shrieks
of her last burning moments.
When her husband comes home from deployment,
she takes one look at the hands
that did not open the smoking doorway in time,
The red homecoming carpet, well,
his arteries provide that.
Penny buries herself in yarn,
pokes holes in her hope with her needles,
tries not to think about how many Bobs and Jacks and Jerrys
will be at the bereavement group.
Penny always brings her knitting.
The widowers always lie.
She always thinks he’ll come back.
the beauties left behind ; modern myth series (p.b.)