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It was your secret birthday yesterday,
April three. Nathaniel, my heart's
own true child (or so you have been made)
have you forgiven me the wealth
of scars I like to think
you carry?

Remember —
you on the old green couch
me on the coffee table, hollering
out, enraged
and drinking, (hand around
the bottle neck,) assaying sites
where the blade struck through.

The other night I dreamed you
in bed, my head at your feet, your feet
at my head, upside down as in life, each
staring at some unexpected part
of the other. The next morning out
of a new shopping bag fell an address
card from a lost suitcase,

some ghostly hand having
placed it so. My name in indelible ink
with your name below. The suitcase
a relic of some man I'd borrowed one happy
year after the divorce, so what tricked me
to still write your name
as if lost, I should be returned?

Notice I have not mentioned one of your sins,
my dear, with women, with men, (friends'
passports, nuclear secrets.) Of what was I screaming
those many chapters gone? No one's business
now. Ours alone.

      — Holly Pettit