First dies eagerness,
like a leech pulled off dry
skin; engorged and defeated. The leech anesthetizes you
to its presence, cripples your ability to tell pain from decency,
and, once full of the blood it found you for,
drops off. Releases its jaws from your skin,
leaves you bleeding, angry, and
unaware that you were going places.
Stinging dementia to remind and prevent you
from trying again.

Second dies desire,
like a flame drowned
in a pail of ice water. The fire waits
until it is stifled, doesn’t admit to waning heat,
won’t look at the condensation on car windows,
or touch the dew on the grass in the early stretch of morning,
because it would remind it
of wetness. Of true damp lack, but also
promises, saturated with dreams,
dripping with fresh opportunity.

Hope dies last,
because it came first, like a summer swarm
in your stomach. It woke you to the contrast of neon store signs, the delicacy of weeds between cracks on the sidewalk to your
grandmother’s house, & how people’s eyes alight when
they talk about dear things. Hope dies last,
because we were made to push past the waterfalls, the cliff edges, the stop signs, & the potholes
until we were so beautiful and broken and wanting,
like a swarm settling for a lifetime of winters.

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