1. I suppose it's like this: never let me assume I know the whole story: the cut up parts, the ones that smashed the matching coffee mugs on the kitchen floor or cut up the dress worn to prom, dumped fragmented and stolen in the trash, or the one who took the stack of oil paintings done when she lived above the bar and went to high school and wrote her own excuses and lit them on fire, the paintings and excuses, in the big oil drums outside where her family burned trash, the black smoke rising like a signal above Silt Mesa. The wedding dress tasted bitter. Even so, divorced people have empathy.
2. In the basement, we write poems while Laura smokes the cheap cigarettes outside, and I listen to her black eyes and her son who saw it all, so I start smoking, too. And what we exhale together makes a prayer in the sky about eyes and ashtrays and voice and voice and voice. Let it rise.
3. Just the truth. The whole truth. Walk a mile walk a mile walk a mile. Do this until you see the smoke signals above her, spilled ink in the last glass of water.
Then tell her who she is, if you think you can.