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Like all types of grief,

the death of a relationship

demands a water burial.

I call it drowning.

We are watching its floating corpse,

my mother and I,

caught in the weeds

‘You never really had much in common’ my mother

prods it with a stick

'and five years is a long time to spend with someone’

the body turns over

in the water, nudging against the bank like a pet

'he must have just been unfulfilled.’ One last jab, dispassionate,

and the body pushes out

into the current.

My mother turns to me and sighs-

she remembers what it is like to be skinned,

to leave the house with all your nerves

on display.

Out on the water, the body rocks with the tide.

Its eyes roll loose

and sink into the sea-bed

two glass marbles

knocking against each other in clouds of sand


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