By Sara Kandler
The last time I saw you in that wine-colored polo sweatshirt was at the so-called rehab center just before your right leg started to swell, hives rising like a red tide toward your chest drawing you back to the ER where your clothes were tucked under the gurney and three days later stuffed into a Stop & Shop bag along with your hearing aids and extra batteries, nose spray, toothpicks and scraps of paper on which you wrote notes barely legible — don’t forget to call Audrey at the hospital, answer the email from the investment fund, there’s an old friend named Deborah on the list…
The Stop & Shop bag rides in the back of my Honda atop a pile of posters by eighth graders, poems and drawings of love and devastation.
I’m told to unpack my sorrow, my regrets.
I can’t bring myself to unpack a thing.
A small white hair, a tiny crumb, the scent of you, preserved.
I keep these piled up artifacts with me, instead.
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