“Lovers” by Stephen Dunn.

To keep the one you want
dig up a footprint of hers
and put it in a flowerpot.
Then plant a marigold, the flower
that doesn’t fade.
And love her.
If she’s distant now
it’s for a reason beyond control.
So don’t tamper with the impressions
left by her body when
for the last time
she leaves your bed.
Just smooth them out
and forget her.
Who is not vulnerable
to a stronger magic (the
broken glass, the bullets
in a yawn),
the terrible power of the one
less in love.

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