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Poetry by Jenni Russell

Three Months Sober

An Affair

Three Months Sober

I’m moving you out of my life,
box by box, album by album;
some days I do not answer the bell
when you call.

I smelled your cologne today at the grocers
and shuffled two aisles from produce
to find you broken on the floor,
brown and bubbling.

You and all your flavors:
pineapple, coconut, coffee and icy aqua
liquor that looks as if you could dip a feather
inside and paint the air. And I walk away.


An Affair 

I’ve been thinking about it all day.
I’ve been plotting.
Laying next to Jack, I anticipate
his snore so I can sneak off to the store,
but between wheezes he whispers
my smile reminds him of a greek kore.
He murmurs how he lives to bring
me happiness.

I tell him no one
can be happy every day.

He mumbles how I saved his life
and he is never going to leave me.

After he falls asleep, my calculated scheme
does not disappear, but is pushed back
like a sweater in the closet at spring,
uncomfortable to wear in a decision's heat.
And the pining I knew today, I’ll meet again
tomorrow with wily anticipation; it doesn’t plan
to be a mere acquaintance
or go away. But tonight I won’t  and I don’t
know if I should be grateful.


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