So much less than expected had been delivered
even the boxes you dropped off
were empty of almost everything but vapor.
I’m not sure what I thought they’d contain—
mementos of us;
the Tiki mug from a night out with your cousin
or the shard of rose quartz we found
on a walk past the site of the new library
but the containers held only stale newspapers
and books without dustjackets that were never mine,
my mangled, worn slippers
and the pants to my college track suit.
Sometimes I imagine you walking around
in the darkness of a house I’ve never seen
wearing the hoodie of a team you never ran for
and that makes me shake my head
and roll my eyes in a sad way
that’s actually good.
We were never right for each other
was your summation of those struggling, pathetic years
but there were moments of comic unity
or even cosmic unity
and maybe that’s what you left room for
in those mostly empty boxes.
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.