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One-by-One

One-by-One

By Julianne Palumbo

We paired well
two by two by two
until you started leaving
one by one.

Now my count to three
brings me to scattered places
and leaves bodies on the couch
mismatched like laundered socks
or that bed-hidden slipper.

Now, more like those pairs
that aren’t—
a pair of jeans
a pair of glasses
a pair of scissors—
a pair that makes one not two.

One headlight
will not show the way;
one wiper will not
clear the rain.
A single chopstick
or even three
cannot pick up
rice.

***

Categories: because i said so

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