Don’t Love Them Too Much - AnnMarie Roselli

Don’t love them too much
they’ll never want to leave
And when they move on
            into their overnight bag
goes your heart — side pocket
You tuck their bag with a toothbrush
            toothpaste, powder, lotion
A change of clothes and extra socks
            should they find themselves in need of escape
            skating down that long, hollow hallway
And out the extra-wide sliding doors, whoosh
            they find their way back home
You unpack their overnight bag, do a little wash,
            make coffee and you both chat about how crazy it all was
Because we know this is how it begins
            a little overnight bag
            pajamas not needed
A crunchy hospital gown, drafty and sad
            will wrap their sweating flesh
Your heart remains silent beneath the zipper that sticks
            and you wonder why a little bag needs such a thick zipper
A few hours after the moon clocks in
            they will cry inside their head
You will cry outside but not in their little room,
            with an odor not found anywhere
            else in the living world
You pray they live a little longer
a lifetime wasn’t enough and
you want a little more time — that’s all
You willingly offer up a section of your heart
            but it must come out of the side pocket —
or there’s no deal

AM Roselli is a writer and artist living in Hudson Valley, New York. Her collection of illustrated poetry, Love of the Monster, was published in 2016. Her writing has appeared in Red Fez, Panoplyzine, The Paragon Journal, Firefly Magazine, Free Lit Magazine, The Avocet, Miracles Magazine, Chicago Literati, The Absurdist, From Whispers to Roars, Now Then Magazine, and Into the Void Magazine. Her art has been featured in the A3 Review and Emerge Gallery, Saugerties, NY. AM Roselli’s art & writing site: