She gives the remembrances back.
The letters. The birthday cards.
His dress shirt she wore at night.
The stuffed animal from the fair.
The mix-tapes. The bracelets.
She boxes them all, an act of strength
since she’s the one being jilted,
and he can’t bear to look at them,
these objects that bear witness.
He wants to walk away. Deny
he gave her aught. But here it is —
scarf, earrings, ticket stubs,
postcards, photo booth strips —
a world of too too solid things.
A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joseph Mills has published four collections of poetry with Press 53. His fifth, “This Miraculous Turning,” will appear in September 2014.
Artwork: Brooke Shaden, “an intimate affair”