I once told you that you made me want to steal books.
You said that was the most romantic thing anyone had ever said to you.
The other day I found a copy of Camus’ The Fall on my bookshelf,
stamped in front by your hometown public library.
I’ve stashed memories of you all over.
The laminated card from your funeral bookmarks one of my journals.
The only words you wrote about me I kept,
drunkenly scrawled and torn from a notebook.
You ripped out the page and gave it to me ten minutes after you wrote it.
You already knew it was all temporal between us.
At your burial I got sunburned as I sobbed.
Your grandmother stared at me, a stranger.
Your mother invited us forward to throw dirt.
I hesitated, and then heard you in my head:
Goddammit, Rebecca, what’s your problem? You won’t even throw dirt on my grave?
One of the last times we drank together, you told me you would die soon.
You spoke of your suicide like a terminal illness.
You asked me to write about you.
I take the fragments,
And gather them as loose leaves
between velvet-covered boards,
loosely bound and fraying at the edges.
Rebecca Therese Klein is a child of Detroit and Brooklyn. She graduated from Marygrove College in 2003 with a B.A. in English and received a Master of Arts degree in English/Education from Brooklyn College in 2014. She returned to Detroit that same year, briefly taught middle school, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Wayne State University. She lives two blocks from the Detroit River and draws energy, inspiration, and joy from its waters.