Forgotten Clothes and Stolen Whiskey
She left me cold, like a forgotten sweater.
Walked right out the door, without even checking the weather.
Now I’m crumpled up by the fireplace, frayed by the rough
edges of ashen bricks that smell of burnt flowers and sun tan lotion:
That stuff she always seemed to smell like, even in the harsh depths of winter.
But coconut oil and rose petals aren’t enough to regulate body temperature;
So, I guess it was the whiskey that kept her flush that night,
because in the heart pocket of my jacket that she stole
was a flask of absolution.
Each block she rounded, she doused her frigid organs with
another shot to warm the notion of shattering the path we built.
Fueling a new engine, to carry her blur past the life we once thought
was forged by two souls meant to keep each other warm.
But now this existence is kindled by abandoned perrineals
and bloodshot revelation.
I watch fire kissed petals curl up into themselves and gasp
for love’s last embrace until there’s nothing left for the
fire to feed upon.
It’s 3 A.M.
The smoke is beginning to dissipate;
her throat is dry, her legs are tired.
…We’re both so tired.
I pull her sweater from the bricks,
feel the wool tear and clench my ribs.
I fold her warmth gently as if tending
to a wounded animal and tuck it
beneath my skull; hoping for dreams
of summer nights, but sleep won’t come.
It left with her.
She has reached her apartment.
Staggering toward the door,
she thrusts shaking hands into
my jacket in search of keys.
The flask falls onto the concrete,
the last drops spill out.
There is nothing left.
The door opens, and she falls to the bed,
cold in the leather too uncomfortable to return.
-James Kelley 2014, All rights reserved
Copyright © James Kelley | Year Posted 2014