Kerrin McCadden

How to Miss a Man

Breathing is just a rhythm. Tell yourself this so that the breathing
becomes a song. Sing this song all day while you shop in the hardware
store for things you do not need. Sing it again while you cook supper

for yourself. Cook supper for yourself, even if you don’t want to.
Go for a walk, even if you don’t want to. Put your shoes on
and get the leash and even bring the dog. She will be so pleased

you might start to forget. Also, breathe. It is a rhythm. Walk
around the block, and even farther, if you have a mind to.
You might. Your feet will take you. They can. If you listen,

they are a rhythm also. Like drums. Hand drums. Swing your hands
while you walk. Tell yourself they are kind of like wings,
that the bird’s wing has a hand inside it. It does.

Come home and make tea. Every time you dip the teabag,
hold your breath like you are underwater. Hold. Breathe.
Hold. Breathe. Like that, like you are swimming across

Lake Pleiades, under water like a fish, above water like a bird
until you are stitching lake and sky. You are a needle just then,
darning holes in things, a weave of stitches across and down, like a graph.

You need to be a graph. A grid. Numbers are perfect. You can draw
two lines on a graph that can never touch. This is what you are building.

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