Person You May Know

Facebook continues to give me a list called People You May Know,

my ex-husband always in the top position. No matter how many times


I click reject he keeps popping up as a Person I May Know and not

a Person I Once Thought I Knew or a Person Who is Impossible to Know


or a Person Who Gave Me Two Children Who Grew into Republicans.

Time is taking its time erasing him, is what I’m saying. Thirty years


after divorce and the last four of his Social still mix in my head.

Creep, journalists call it. Mission Creep. First Husband Creep.


This morning is so quiet I can hear a man two blocks away when he sneezes.

Someone could probably explain the acoustics of this. There are yellow


and blue and rust-colored flowers around the border of our maroon rug

that’s become worn from the way we walk on it, from the habit of our feet


going from one room to the other, a pattern no one could have predicted,

like the landscaped garden path that is not quite the path


where people actually walk and crush the grass and kick the pebbles

to the side. Sometimes I look at a new sofa and imagine it worn out and dirty,


or a new rug with the stains it will have some day, or a springtime garden

already brown and off the bloom. 



Karen Z. Duffy has won two Fellowships in Poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and one in Creative Nonfiction from The Norman Mailer Writers Colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Duffy’s chapbook, Giving in to the Smoke, received the Starting Gate Award from Finishing Line Press, and her poem, “World Series, Game 5” was featured on The NewsHour on PBS. Duffy teaches poetry writing with Murphy Writing of Stockton University.