Marissa McNamara

There Was Now


Before that I was on the other end

    of a busy signal, in front

of a red light changing


to yellow. And before that I had a friend

who became a story

that never ended.  She’d say,


“To make a long story short,” only

by then it wasn’t. Once,

there were bees


in my bedroom wall behind

    the sheetrock. They came in

through the vents.


I swatted their wings

    from my hair, tangled.

Before that were my legs


in boys’ cars.  One boy left

    a misspelled penciled apology

and blue roses on my porch,


and there was a garbage man

    who took them away

still in the vase.  But I did not rake


the leaves in my yard for him

to take too. They had worked so hard

to fall together.

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