portion of the artwork for Laura King's poetry

Laura King

Between the halves
a bitter membrane
that cottons the tongue.

Once I drew your shirt
hanging lonely in your closet like an apparition.
Once, sweating with fever, I dreamt that I refused
to kiss you when you left.

Caught up bits in the sieve, the way memories stay.

This morning, birds woke me with their mating chatter
and I hated them until they stopped.
Then the fan, droning highway, train whistling in the distance.

Today the opportunity to love the remnant.
The picture on my phone, we had our beginning,
our once upon a time.

What is between us, let it be a scrim
like before the end of the opera
when the orchestra plays the final prelude
that softens the effect of the vitriolic second act—
the scrim floats up
the birds start to sing again
and everyone knows someone is going to die.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 59 | Spring/Summer 2022