list of things that you are not

I see an old woman
smiling down at her grandson
riding a tricycle. You are not
an old woman. You are not
a tricycle.
I snatch the needles from a sapling
underfoot – the smell sweet crunch
of tangy gin – you are not
a pine tree, nor are you

their sweet, sweet smell
on the pads
of my fingertips.

Do they have pine trees where you’re from? I know that they have gin.

You are not my non-GMO
OJ, or my GMO OJ,
my bacon with or without
nitrates. I don’t eat buttered toast,
but you are not that either,

not the butter,

not the toast.

You are not one, two, or three
pillows on the bed. You are not

a white pillowcase. You are not

a gray pillowcase
down stuffing. You are not

the little feathers flying
when I strip the bed for washing.

You are not the iron ore stain gathering
on the bottom of the white shower curtain.
You are not the blood
I have to give for you.

Rain on the runway:
not you.
All the strangers on the concourse:
not you.
What’s tucked away between the pages,
forgotten boarding passes
fluttering to the floor:
not you.

One thought on “list of things that you are not

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