Repeat After Me
by Rachel Mangini

How do I say how I feel in Portuguese?
English cannot amplify   sad.   We curl it
into a tiny space. Tuck it tight to contain it.
Give me a word. Make it mean ugly
and messy and ripping my heart out dripping with tears.
Make it mean my head is blown open. My nails feel
good scraping on my skin.

What is the word for full to bursting with regret?

What do you call the sum of this:
one day in Montreal when I smiled in photos, cried in between,
three police cars, one strong rope,
the digits of another man’s phone number dialed twice,
185 miles, me growing smaller in the rear view,
the slope of your back when you sleep alone?

The worst thing is: miraculous.
My body, so much soft flesh, goes on,
needs water, dresses, gets on a bus.
Opens its mouth and says “at the close of the third quarter.”
When what I really want to say is:

The rhythm of your breath is what I fasten mine to. 

Rachel Mangini loves to travel, and to bake. Both her husband and her dog can attest to the fact that she is a great kisser. On her blog you'll find lots of things she likes.

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