This poem was my entry in the 2014 Iron Writer Championship, in which I took second place:

“The intended length of ever after”

Finding a way to keep alive the

allusion of your illusion

is more difficult than finding a

desert island treasure map X

And if I thought I could see you again

just once

I would hit the ground running

Your death was an extinction level event

for me

And in order to reverse the traumatic stress

that has turned me into a savant that

doesn’t count scattered toothpicks but instead

now sees the world through the lens of sorrow

I perform pocket knife open heart surgery

peeling away my flesh by the layer

In order to somehow discover

where you are now

or the intended length of ever after

and when these fail I lay down a line

of last week’s breadcrumbs

that lead me to the first place I discovered you

To complete the journey

I navigate a yo-yo string tightrope to a

forgotten beneath-the-stairs toy box

and search among Raggedy Andy

with his one remaining eye

a frayed copy of “Kate the Kitten Fairy”

that told of her epic battles with Jack Frost

and her refusal to bow to his icy arrow and bow

and a Bozo the Clown chalk board, on which

your name was written repeatedly in

fading yet determined 6th grade penmanship

to find yesterday’s letter to tomorrow’s me

written on the day after the first day of school

when we first met

Unfolding the papers and smoothing them against my thigh

it all rushed back bringing that day then to right now

And although they all felt that I was too young to know

that you were the one to find

I refused to give in and believe their lie

so I now sit and read my foretold story of us

and each morn I mourn and with a

single tear I tear out each page after it’s read

and implode quietly for these few minutes each day.

Copyright 2014 Steven Harz

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