sue

Oceans

The day my mother came into my room
she sat on my bed with me
and asked me, you've been spending a lot of time
with this girl
this woman
is this a romantic thing?
i had never thought before
that my mother might see me so clearly
might see beyond me going to the movies
with my new friend
whom i met at work
never imagined she would be so concerned
my Democrat liberal mother.

I always imagined you would get married
she said
and have children.
No one wants to think her daughter won't have children.
I sat there confused
I can still have children
I want to say.
We sat there on my bed
my face hot and red, the silence
stretching between us

I don't tell her
how I sat on the sand with my girlfriend last night
if that's what she is
how we kissed on the beach
watching the waves roll in
the patchwork reflection of the moon.
Those kids laughing.

I might still get married
I say to my mother
probably not to this woman that I've kissed
but to someone else
some man or woman
I have yet to meet.
You think my future is decided now?

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Pressed Flowers

She asked for her letters back.
Who does that?

Love letters are like flowers,
you don't give them back
after you break up--
not like the scarf she lent me,
or all those guitar picks--

you keep them pressed and folded
in the back of a drawer
stacked neatly.

You forget them, until one day
you open that drawer

and smell the sweetness of her perfume
see the loops of her handwriting
on cheap lined paper
and remember.

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