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the expirationthey put an expiration date on sadness last wednesday, and now the world is happy again.
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the law says we only get six months to mourn tragedies, six months to howl at the moon and claw at our thighs until they look like road maps. six months, and then the pain will die away just like we wanted to.
i didn't think it could really happen, but i've seen it. my neighbor's husband left her two years ago, and they're taking retroactive sadness into account. now that her grief has expired, she can't stop smiling. she told me that she's free to pull the weeds from her garden and wear her red high heels again. she has a date with the UPS man, and i swear she's lost five pounds.
i ran into my friend jennifer in the produce section yesterday, and she hugged me so hard that i felt my back crack. jennifer had a miscarriage seven months ago, but when she mentioned that she's going to start trying for another baby, i was the only one tearing up over the zucchinis.
i've got two more days left 'til mine
the kingdom of life and deathtwo weeks ago i threw a stone
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at the water and watched it skip three times, thinking
it will never do to grow old and content.
somewhere beneath this river
there is a castle built from stones i've thrown,
and all of the fish are kings and queens.
they've never been asked about their royal decrees.
no one has ever wished them a happy birthday.
they reign over the kingdom of life and death, and even the river
refuses to stop and mourn them when they go.
one week ago i found a moss-covered stump,
and instead of crying, i counted its rings.
if you were to cut me crosswise, i don't know
what you'd find. perhaps severed arteries
pouring out gold and poetry,
ancient cave paintings splashed across my vertebrae,
or the secret to immunity brewing
in the cauldron of my hips.
maybe you wouldn't find anything.
i cannot grow rings, after all,
and i am no queen.
today, to celebrate my birthday,
i will head down to the river with a saw
slung over my shoulder and
chop down a t