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Jill Alexander Essbaum

I. Thief

You keep taking.
I keep talking.

II. The If

If: Then. If: Only.
If: Lonely.

If: All else fails me.
If: A blind man Brailles me.

If: The whole winds up being lesser than the sum.
If: The lights are on but everyone is gone.

If: Turned on.
If: Turned to stone.

If: Wanting to be near I’ve pushed you very far away.
If: Stay.

If: Instead.
If: I get you into bed.

If: By luck or lust.
If: Nonplussed.

If: Nonchalant.
If: Stalemate leads to détente.

(Or: Not.)

If: The tree of me falls but you don’t hear it.
If: Ever you ever loved me then swear it.

If: We don’t get along. If: We cannot be friends.
If: End.

Jill Alexander Essbaum

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