You're sitting up late with
your scissors and pictures,
cutting photos from the blur
of sky and shaking fingers.
You glue them
(with Elmers, of course)
to the computer screen
and try to talk to her that way.
And when she doesn't say what you want,
out comes the hammer.

Take two.

You're staying up late with
your phone and the tapes,
splicing clips from your lives
into stuttering something.
You play it back
(at half speed, to savor the moment)
on a black and white tv
and call her old number.
When she doesn't pick up,
out comes the hammer.

Take three.

You're getting out early with
your car and the stuffed toys,
holding on to the last physical thing
like they still smell of together.
You hold them close
(the seams pop, spill rotted old cotton)
in the park you enjoyed
and pretend she came back again.
When she doesn't kiss back--

It was always the hammer.

AKL 2005