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  • Anna's prayer flags hang from one tack, drape her pillow. She is asleep again.

    Here is the half-empty room we're both deserting. Here is a book of Thoreau open for a final paper. And the page "Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live."

    Yesterday, with Jessica and Kevin and baby, I learned for the first time that love is not marriage. It is sometimes just asking a woman to please stand farther away from the door while smoking, for the sake of the child, thank you.

    Anna's prayer flags move in a breeze I cannot detect. The window is open for the sake of the drizzle.

    Here, here is the half-empty soon-to-be-empty, almost-empty room we are deserting. Here is one year, one more white chalk tally.

    Perhaps I discovered today, while I lay curled at my pregnant sister's feet, that growing is and is not that pencil line there on the doorframe with the date. None of us getting any taller.

    On I91 today, I listened to The Scientist and cried over the same sadness, again. You are not here. It is raining. I once wrote you a poem about mile markers, which you liked quite a lot.

    Anna's prayer flags which won't be anywhere near my walls next year. Still four hours from your hands. "Several more lives to live." Put one chalk tally on each of my toes, my hands, each limb, my feet. Eighteen.

    Here, is the empty room we've nearly deserted. I've got your image, a mirage, standing in the middle of it. I've got our image, photo caught, clutching printed pictures of one whole year. In each, Anna's prayer flags coloring the walls.
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