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“That kind of blockage, exiling one’s self from one’s self—have you ever experienced it?” - William Carlos Williams

Sometimes we say to one
            a goodbye
            meant for another. Morning
& the meperidine dream
                        breaks to shaking. My husband
guides me by his hands
            on my
            hips like a window-
dresser wheeling a mannequin
                        into sunlight, toward its reflection. I dreamt
of being, like fruit,
            The surgeon insists it’s
the swelling. He must’ve learned
                        to stitch on the flesh of an
orange, unless this idea is an ambrosia
            the gods pretend
            to eat so that when we steal,
we steal pathetically.
                        The bath reminds me
of a lover. The meperidine
            guides me by its
            hands on
the glass. He holds my head as if a baby’s
                        & tilts me back.  I dreamed of being faceless
like morning. The bath reminds me
            of a window. The dream—
            it breaks like a stitch. . . .
Sometimes we say to one the goodbye
                        another meant.
Emilia Phillips

Emilia Phillips is the author of a collection of poems, Signaletics (University of Akron Press, 2013). She is the prose editor at 32 Poems and is the 2013–2014 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College.