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Jane Ebihara


Living Alone



It’s good I have extra rooms in my house for it is filling up with words. No one to call to the window for the splash of goldfinch at the feeder, the doe in the garden. Yellow, still, quiet, delight  fall in fractured syntax—pile in the corner. Laments and unasked questions stashed in bags line the hallway walls. Stuffed kitchen cabinets spew complete sentences onto the counter tops. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, invectives, useless articles fall behind cushions and topple from shelves that can no longer bear the weight.


One day my children will discover this mess—call in an expert in such matters who will survey the premises and ask in gentle tones if I really need the box of synonyms for regret. She’ll say you can keep the ones you must, but you can always get new ones. They’ll strip everything down to the essentials.



when the last woman steps 

into the quiet wood

what language will fall

in her wake

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