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Paulette Guerin is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Florida. She lives in Arkansas and teaches English at Harding University. Inspired by Thoreau’s Walden, she is building a tiny cabin on seven acres (with pond) and blogging about the experience at pauletteguerinbane.wordpress.com. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2018ep;iphanyConcho River ReviewThe Tishman Review2 River View, and others. She also has a chapbook, Polishing Silver.
When the lights are out and 
we with our disembodied voices
By Paulette Guerin



remember everything we didn’t do—
mail the check, put up the leftovers,
cradle love as if it were too new
to survive. We remind ourselves 

to mail the check, hoping there’s money left over
do the things necessary
to survive. We remind ourselves
of our parents. The moon waxes tonight;

we avoid the chores we pretend are necessary.
There’s nothing we would rather do 
than observe the moon waxing tonight,
moonlighting as therapist: “Are you sure

there’s nothing you would rather do?”
It’s the same gift she gives all lovers.
Moonlight. We’ve seen it, sure,
and then she wanes, too dark to spot.

It’s the same gift, really. She gives lovers
a menacing itch, a cool burn that
eventually wanes, too dull to spot.
With disembodied voices, entangled arms,

we attend the menacing itch, the cool burn
of everything we didn’t do.
With disembodied voices, entangled arms,
we cradle love as if it were new.