These are the gloves of parting
left by you one morning without words
in a soft heap like two blackbirds
nestling on their last breath
not worn, to be worn
by me through the streets of Vienna
where leaves had fallen
all turned the colour of your hair
as I inhaled slow decay,
wove paths that vanished with the wind,
hands raw, gloves left on the table.
These gloves have witnessed departures, visitors
like you they have travelled, seen snow with you
filled tightly by your hands
their homeland stamped with pride,
an offering to be kept
perfect for parting
so tender, felt, black
left with you accidentally amid words
only to return
despite their crumpled wings.
These are the gloves you handed me
without a word
they have taken residence here
permanent visitors in a warm welcome
they glide over my hands,
caress my skin like a gentle breath,
silent comfort as I walk the winter streets of Athens
I bring my hands to my cheek
close my eyes and inhale deeply
the scent that is you
and as they rub together, wings flutter.
Loukia M. Janavaras is from Minneapolis, MN and currently resides in Athens, Greece. Her poem ‘White’ was published in J.D. Vine Publications’ The Creative Writer in 2008 and in 2010 she received an Honourable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 79th Annual Writing Competition for ‘The Neighbour’ in the Memoirs/Personal Essay category.