A fine write on a sub's plight; torn but ever wanting more. Could be better with some tightening; one spot in particular, for example, causht my eye:
Grew smaller and smaller
Until it was out of sight.
would have greater impact both verbally and visually if cut to:
Until out of sight.
Just a suggestion.
I liked the image of the relations through the back mirror. In fact I believe that the poem could have been even stronger if it ended at the end of the third stanza.
...including "I offered myself anesthesia/By dwelling on the release we’d shared". I do agree that this could use a fair bit of tightening, but even without that, it flows fairly well. My only issue might be the title. I went looking for references or allusions to a Phoenix, the bird of lore, but could find none in the poem. I may well have missed them, i do that. I appreciate that Phoenix, being a city in Arizona, is relative to the proximity of Oklahoma to flesh out a time line in the poem, but since this poem doesn't really seem to be an ode to the Jimmy Webb song, it might be more effective to use, for example, Sante Fe (?), and it might be less confusing ... but if left as Phoenix, for whatever reason you need to use that particular town, i might recommend then using quotes around the entire first line (to avoid lawsuits if nothing else ... seriously).
BUT, i'm rarely drawn into a master/sub poem to any degree at all, so you've done enough here in terms of mood, nuance, characterization to make this work for me. Thanks for the read.
This poem was mentioned in Saturday's New Poems Reviews.
but its there and so will remain, TK U MLJ LV NV
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