The Winter You Were Seven, II

a white dog

The winter you were seven

I slowly hung pictures

and the dark wrapped us up

safely in our nest of lamplight

and pop music. I put beach towels

against the bottoms

of the doors in a comfortable habit.

It was cold out, and at night

the baseboard pipes gurgled

with warm water and I slept

next to you, because why not?

And in your febrile hallucinations

you sat up and criedI don’t want to

and I laid you back down

here, on the pillow, and said

you don’t have to

and meant it as much as I could.

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