that story

Unfold the tapestry hurriedly at first,
stretching quickly across the cool stone floor--
flatten the edges to show me where the figures
crawl, walk, then run.

Smooth the wrinkles slow, then.

Let me see heads held high in grief,
bowed low in laughing, turned aside in shame.

Flicker your fingers over threadbare patches,
filling them with brighter color, hoping
I won't notice. (I do.)

Point to the well-worn parts, show me your
favorite to unfold and stare again, again:
I know those perfect, steady warps and wefts
are tighter, neater than the holes you
nervously patched up for me.
We'll look together,
lightly trace those intricate motifs;
I'll catch my breath at them with you.

Before you fold it back again,
help me swiftly weave another,
a blurred copy to hang with care
behind my eyelids.
Your story's seventeenth in my collection,
but no less precious than the first


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