one nail and you’ve had it

the red volvo—the car she once drove
and all he can do is swear
as he sifts through a bag of nails,
they’re mixing all together
falling on the floor
one nail and you’ve had it.

we’re going to visit the cemetery
but not in her volvo, instead
we’re in his car. he has two thousand
nails, but they’re filthy-dirty.

no unspoken words to confuse
conversation. nothing said aloud either,
as he slams the door I see the
reflection of his skeleton on the
window of the red volvo.

the rock with best wishes for her
feels heavy in my pocket.
I AM—turnip in my throat—whispers calling me.

it’s Chinese New Year but I just feel stale,
mostly memories of waiting alone.
I can remember the funeral:
no matter how hard I pressed my 
eyes together, tears wouldn’t form.

I couldn’t even cry when I felt
that nail pierce through my hand.

— a true story

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