Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Raincoat

The front left pocket holds the quiet echoes of
a thousand movie ticket stubs and restaurant receipts,
and several dozen breath-mint wrappers that lend
the crinkling air a scent of hoping-to-be-kissed.
The right contains the warmth of hands held tight,
of jokes retold until they became funny again.
And don't forget the collar's grand collection
of every look--shared or missed; from smiles to glares,
impatient stares, and a wealth of exasperation.
The buttons carry promises, the button-holes wishes,
and the inside zipper is caught in thread
from where plans came loose and unraveled.
That hidden pocket is full of hard days and teary nights,
nights when one or both of us needed a raincoat.
In short, the coat is so heavy with memories that
I dare not hang it up, even for a moment,
lest it break the hook off the wall
and everything in those pockets come tumbling out
onto the floor between us.
So I hold it and give you the best one-armed goodbye
I can manage before handing you the coat
to drape over your elbow. I listen to the door shut,
hoping it will rain.

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