Ellen O'dauver Lyrics

Your breath of sweet and sour, I can smell it in the
air. It serves as a substitute for perfume you don't
wear. There are geraniums in a child-size stadium on my
block, and from this room with you I want so badly to
take a walk. You can keep your head of hair, I only
want a lock. Won't you come and see these clovers,
Ellen O'Dauver? We watch the children stare at us with
eyes so glazed, like deer caught in headlights. Wood
chips and rocks will be raised and placed in their
mouths. Their moms soon shout, but quietly, and as we
sit I am so glad you chose to walk with me. When you
watch their faces I wonder what it is you see. Oh
Ellen, Ellen dear, the sky's cleared. Now on my porch,
you're telling me about the time your sister called you
down to dinner but did it in pantomime. You didn't hear
it. She didn't clear it with your eardrums first. Your
mom got angry, you got blamed it was the worst. Ellen,
when I'm with you, I think I need a nurse, because the
cat has got my tongue and I am bee-stung. After you
left I accepted cleaning as my fate, but first I paused
to plunder the potatoes left upon your plate. I thought
about the movers, Ms. Vancouver, and how they ever fit
all of the stuff you carried away from your Aunt
Margaret. And oh, I can't speak for them, but as for
myself, I may have laughed a bit as I imagined the
arrangement of your estate man, I can't wait. Back in
this room, I sit alone with sweet and sour still
permeating the space around this tiny shelving tower.
Ellen O'Dauver, I eat leftovers and mourn while you're
away, practicing these crooked scripts of what I might
say. My lungs rise and fall, unnoticed like these games
we play. I wish that you would come over and breathe
here every day.

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