by any other name

i wince as i kneel down to tie his shoe

even though a knot by any other name
still would have killed her

my fingers move through his laces
and images of her cord dance across my forehead

it does not matter how many times i do it,
the irony and the memory
still clash heartily in my soul

as each day i try and accept what cannot be
and what already is

“now off you go!” i say cheerily to him
in the voice i’ve created for such moments

“and be so, so safe” i always whisper
even though i know he cannot hear me.

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