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from Don't Leave Me Scarlett Johansson


And Scarlett each time I see a magician on the street corner I want nothing more than to watch you  untie a knot of rope in a glass case on a stage because you and I both know that when that damp rope slips against your wrist your mind is a still pond in the woods beyond the freeway and when I swim into your white dress you don't sing but yell  THE LEAVES WILL BURY EVERY YEAR  and even though  you  are  not  a  woman  I want to rub algae into each pore of your skin and between each of your fingers that are sometimes broken by the rope and which are sometimes mangled like rotting branches

O Scarlett when I pass you in the grocery store you hum STAND IN THE SHADE OF ME and I can see the smoke of prescribed  fires  layered into your hair and god you  know I know that evergreens are not always green but as I take you from the shelf I have to promise that as long as you sleep in my bed I will never take a match to any of your hairs because I couldn't stand to see you burnt down alone as a charred root or branch and I couldn't stand to see your wide eyes wet like the eyes a child paints onto the skin of a boiled egg

O Scarlett  I swear all  the  times  I've tried to drown  in you  will  never  stop  your  body  from  coming  through the glass shower like dark sunlight and I can't help but stand  against the bathroom door and watch each  wave of sugary foam reach between the wet blur of your shoulders and god I swear I've told you how the water beads like pearls caught in the shells of all your smallest hairs and I swear your body sometimes swells apart and sings PUT YOUR EAR TO THE GROUND but you and I both know it doesn't matter how many glasses you break against your fingers and you and I both know you'll never scare me into a whimpering pile of sand



THOMAS PATRICK LEVY, a native of New Jersey, now lives in southern California where he works as a freelance web designer and an automotive respossessor. His work has appeared in Diagram, PANK, Pear Noir!, and many other journals and publications. You can find him online at http://www.thomaspatricklevy.com.

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