April 20, 2022
I always wished I were tidy as my sister,
taking her books straight up the stairs to her room,
never dropping her coat wherever she unzipped it.
Even her handwriting was, still is,
a series of gleeful loops,
though I know this isn’t the whole truth of her.
I leave things where they fall:
the coffee-stained cup by the bed,
the blue rebozo on the doorknob,
earrings on the bathroom sink,
as if believing in some fictional “later,”
when time will fan open before me,
I’ll have nothing to rush to,
and with great care,
I’ll tuck my things into their places.
And now, the time has come.
At sixty-five, anything, we know, is possible.
So I pitch the old lipsticks
the extra dry-ice packs
from a dental visit five years ago
which I’d rather forget.
The novels in which I couldn’t get past page thirty-five
(Moby Dick, I’m talking about you),
the darling cup-warmer a student knit,
the cheap vase.
Bottles of narcotic pain killers
from my pain killing days.
How many years in my fifties
were sacrificed to pain?
The broken necklace,
the once-favorite white linen shirt
I thought I looked elegant in, back when we had parties.
The black dress I wore
for one week straight
when my mother died.
I’m planning to still be here
for a long time,
but I want the coming years
leaving billowing empty space
to let in the light and love.