I Love You Too Much to Wear Those Earrings

I love you too much
to wear those earrings
you bought for my birthday,

still in their box
in my top drawer
fifteen years later.

You chose well:
pairs of gold wings
at rest, each clasping an opal.

Grace notes
to set off my face.

While I washed the dishes,
wiped spilled juice, I kept
stopping to touch each ear—

then found one lobe bare.

Remember how long we spent
sweeping the floor with our fingertips,
circling chair legs, trash can,

on watch for a glint so slight
a dropped cornflake could hide it?

What else could I do
but unfasten its twin, pin them
both to their cardboard,
press down the lid?

Someday I’ll scatter your ashes,
or you’ll scatter mine.
The thrift shop will take our shirts.

But how can I wear
these licks of gold
when I’ve seen how a

casual half-shrug
can flick them off
like toast crumbs?

Merrill Oliver Douglas studied in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College, and she earned an MA in English from Binghamton University in 1982. Her most recent publications are in A Narrow Fellow, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Barrow Street and San Pedro River Review. She lives near Binghamton, N.Y., where she runs a freelance writing business.

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One Response to I Love You Too Much to Wear Those Earrings

  1. Pingback: Links to Merrill’s poems – Top of JC's Mind

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