MJ Werthman White


the dead

. . . plankton too glimmer in the existential dark
last summer’s daylilies
bloom again while a squirrel
squashed under your rear wheel last fall
sits up bright-eyed chittering in your path
and your favorite mutt

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You Are Not Alone

. . . The first time she stopped here on the way home from the new mall, Donna picked up her package of ground chuck and wound up wandering the aisles as, one after another, the Indigo Girls, Moby, the two Franks, Sinatra and Ocean, Steve Earle, the Cranberries, Gene Pitney and India.Arie poured out of the overhead speakers. When Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” followed her out to the parking lot, she knew she was hooked.

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You could not leave your weaving
long enough to feed an old dog,
last white-muzzled link to your husband,
mirror image of your own fidelity?

Not bother, in the heated press
of supplicants, to bathe him, brush

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Lies I’ve Told

I can’t. I won’t.
I’m sick.
I’m tired.
I’m busy.
I didn’t get the message.
I was at my sister’s.
No, I’m not bored.
Yes, I love you.
No, I never loved you.

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