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Going Through Old Photos

‘Smile’ he said, and I smiled

Oh, baby, I was so wild

And free and nothing


Could hurt me

Or so I believed

So I smiled for him

Making jokes about how I’d break

The camera lens

Not knowing that I’d break

Not bend

Not a matter of if but when

And baby, I remember that day

Like it was yesterday

It was my birthday

Gifts and ribbons and a bottle of wine

Oh, baby, you looked so fine

Unruly hair and leather

Snakeskin boots, skin tight jeans

Baby, I shook my head, not in this weather

“Come on. A little rain never hurt anyone.”

But you did. Oh, yeah, I remember that too

That smile you’d coaxed out of me

Not so long before

You left it laying crumbled on the floor

Tears were never any good at washing off the blood

But the rain was

30 days and nights

I remember all the fights

And how it used to flood

Our first floor apartment

Yeah, baby, I remember how we’d laugh

And stack everything up high

Where nothing could touch it

I should have found myself a ladder

And climbed up to the sky

“I hope you die.”

Those should have been my words

But they were the ones you left me with

That and this box of photographs

That I can’t seem to rid myself of

So happy birthday to me, baby

Thanks for the card

And the gift, wrapped in wine stained gauze

And thank you baby for every time I pause

And listen to the rattle of the wind

And the way the screen door bangs

Like a gunshot

Knowing that you’re out there, baby

As I lock my heart and throw away the key

So that you can never

Get in


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