I stole your camera, took your spent
film to Walgreens for development.
Paid 24 dollars to have
4X6 glossies of your once-
in-a-lifetime trip to Mexico,
your kids’ birthday party, your close-ups
of lichen and moss. I spread them out
across my table. I’ve never been
to Mexico.

Your black leather boots, buckles
silver at the calf; your t-shirt.
It’s not like I haven’t washed it;
I have. It’s folded there, neatly.
At the bottom of my drawer.
Your boots in a box at the back
of my closet. I don’t hold them to
my cheek. I don’t hold them to my nose.
I’m not. You are.

Well. I’m not. Sorry, sick, spurious.
I wear your class ring against my chest;
I keep your metal warm. I’m not
a thief. It’s just that white cotton
at your chest smells like crisp and light;
a shine. The worst part. The worst part is
a bright burst. I follow you to Mass.
Watch you rise and fall, feel your tender knees
on red velvet.

I stand. I drag my derelict
voice across your cruel sacred space.

Gabrielle Freeman’s poetry has been published in many journals including Beecher’s Magazine, Chagrin River Review, The Emerson Review, Gabby, Minetta Review, and Shenandoah. She earned her MFA in poetry through Converse College. Gabrielle lives with her family in North Carolina. She blogs about writing and all things random at

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