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Retreat

He retreats to that place
   between awake and sleep
   wave under churned wave
   sand constellations, light green and grey
   he nearly drowns, he was under 13 years old, that day
a thousand meanings, none of them meant
   where your loss even, hurts less
Early morning, around 6 a.m., I guess—
   I get to the club
No one is at the front desk
   so I couldn’t check in
   and just went ahead
to the locker room, a few others were there
   they can tell you
I change into my gym clothes
   lift weights for an hour
   pump the elliptical trainer for another
   for the heart
That’s where I was that day at that hour
   I swear
I wish I could touch you again…
   Because a light green, grey butterfly flew
   a thousand years ago
   graceful on perfect wings
the few lines of happiness between us sever
The lifeguard pulls me out—save me—
   would it have been better to drown?
That didn’t happen and because
A sweet green butterfly flew
I was at the club
   and did nothing wrong that day

-March 29, 2009-