The Assessment: Hairy situations

In a suitcase somewhere I think you have one of my poems. Crumpled from when you stuck it into a spare pocket for later use and then promptly forgot about it. All is forgiven anyways. Some days I just think about that message you wrote me. Said, “You’re not getting your poem back. I think it’s perfect.” Too flustered to reply properly, I wrote, “Don’t be a fool.” That was to myself mostly. As I think of your three-month tour around Europe with your six-year girlfriend, I just have one recurring worry. That rifling through your bag for a sock or a condom (God forbid), she happens upon the poem and asks you why it’s there, stowed away like a secret. And always unbothered, you’d reply, “Oh, it’s nothing.”

I don’t know what I was to you, but it wasn’t nothing. I was the note in your pocket you stumble on from time to time, the faintest memory that you take out only to put back for later finding.

I’m okay with that. I keep memories of you close to me too.

Melissa Fitzgerald is an English student at Northeastern University with a writing minor. She thinks “love” is the loveliest word in the world, but melancholy is pretty too, in a different way. Her work has been published in Corvus Magazine, *82 Review, and Indiana Voice Journal.

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