Carapace Arithmetic

Unsure of my intentions
I sent her the article
that had fallen in my lap
about plans for that dilapidated attempt
at a diner to be torn down.
An eyesore, the journalist called it.
The locals agreed
that the riddance would be good.

It took her a day to respond
but she did so in multiple modes
of modern miscommunication.
The third caught me
like a wide left turn
made by a hungover motorist.
Rolling off gin-dreams
in dirty Sunday sheets
her name was the last
I'd expected to see
on the face of my digital captor.

"Why'd you send it?"
she asked, clearly in the same state.
"Closure" was the best
I could come up with at the time.

I told her how I remembered
watching her wash the coffee pots
with salt water as she stood
behind the counter
her back to me so innocently
unaware of the treachery
a boy of 21 can deal--
the latter half of the recollection
implied, though omitted.

Through teeth flecked
with late-night fried chicken
I congratulated her newfound comfort
reiterating my speech on refusal to settle
when her turn for pleasantries came.
Concepts like signs
that say "Will Build to Suit"
and the merit
of increased surface area
brushed across my brain
before realizing that she'd hung up.

When she called back
three minutes later
I didn't answer.

The building will be gone soon.
Marlboro, like the two souls
seventeen miles apart
will be better off.
Hydrogen peroxide
and cold water
will get out the rest.

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