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“This Thing You Have Done”

For Sam


First off, we never

agreed to it. You promised—

well, you didn’t but

you said, and to say

is as good as to promise—

you would tell me if

you had plans to leave

me forever. So you lied.

And now you are gone

and the world makes no

sense, except I have to make

it make sense. There are

papers to sign and

debts to repay; there is no

rebate for heartache.

Why did you go? What

did I ever do to you

except love you hard,

and ask you to love

me as hard back, until we

could not love any

harder. It was hard

not to love you, too easy

to love you—and then,

one-two, you tricked me.

And now I’m wearing your shirts,

huffing your pillow

cases, unpacking

your suitcases, looking for

the belt you affixed

around your neck. No:

This thing you have done, I did 

not consent to it.


April Ford’s books include Carousel: A Novel (Inanna Publications), Winner of the 2020

International Book Awards for LGBTQ Fiction, Death Is a Side-Effect: Poems (Frog Hollow

Press), and The Poor Children: Stories (SFWP). She’s the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for her

short story “Project Fumarase.”



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