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Ode to Your Things

Artwork by Jenna Tse, staff artist

By Enya Goonetilleke

When you vanished, I kept your things.

I slept in your favorite black sweater,

It still smells of your perfume.

Your dog-eared Shakespeare volumes -

I read them out loud, pretending I was hearing your voice.

I drank from your teacup, tracing the ring stains

Left from your late-night cups of chamomile.

Your shoes and jackets, much too big for me,

Remain where you left them.

I do not dare touch them, for fear they will disintegrate

After remaining unused for so long.

Your house key sits on the table near the front door,

As if any minute, you will burst in

And snatch your keys with an offhand, “Almost forgot them!”

And a debonair “I’ll be back by dinner!”

Before you dart back out.

Cracked dishes leftover from your angry outbursts

Over irritating coworkers and jealous ex-lovers

Though you never raised your voice at me.

Silver spoons under the dishwasher,

Still stained with your lipstick.

So I’ll take all of your old things

And bury them in our garden.

And maybe with a little rain and sunlight,

The soil will soften into skin,

And the flower print on your jean jacket

Will become your freckles.

And maybe you will rise from the earth

Whole and forgiving,

Immortalized in my adoration.

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