Upon Seeing Floating Dust at Golden Hour

When she said there is nothing
left―I am gone like a father,
false like a specter―maybe
you cannot help but wonder if
she was even here,―or if
you built her out of Jenga block
bones buried in a meadow of
lavender and carnation that does
not exist. But look at the grocery list
taped to the fridge, and dig through
the rubbish bin if you must―
there is her name in the address line
of The New Yorker, and in crossword
puzzles of shredded signatures.
Do you remember the bookstore
(the one with overpriced coffee,
you know the one) and how
she tested every marker color
by writing her name?―leaving
traces of something a little less
than fingerprints. Or the back of
your senior yearbook, from which
she whispers―I was here (and
she still is, on the paper, at least,
but dust is dead skin and
you haven’t got the willpower
to sweep). Now these scraps
are precious to us, bits
of a lover I said goodbye to
long before you did. She did.
These―wrinkled receipts, nails
in the wall, eraser shavings, socks
without partners, calculator
histories, a dog that keeps barking,
an orchid on the windowsill
I am not used to watering,
the brightness of the sun on the wall
facing the fire escape window―
the one she used to sit by to watch
every setting sun.

This is a reprint of work originally published in The Rising Phoenix Review.

Ashley Kim is a 17-year-old high school senior from Southern California. Her work has been published in The Rising Phoenix Review and is forthcoming in The Bookends Review.

This entry was posted in Poetry, Reprint and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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