Saddest song

What, he asks, would be
the saddest song
that doesn’t make you weep
but leaves you empty
& breathing heavily
as though the world
has spun you like a top…
Is it Sinatra’s, Tagalog’s –
Balladeers who pull you
out of bed,
scream trapped in your throat,
a corkscrew twisting in your guts?
Words filter out of her lips
like kisses stolen by some clever chief:
Love songs let her step back,
take stock of tears
with the cool eyes of rememberers
of Puff the Magic Dragon
who sleeps in the sea of her drawer
swaddled in a rainbow shawl
of dust & time
& they laugh silently,
the child of secrets
choking them both
slowly, slowly…

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