Clearing Out the Single Room

1334622187_teddy bear

I found a thing or ten of yours.
My sister with a stranger’s face,
I scrabbled for any piece of you
I could save from the rubble
of your life. Pieced the lost months together
beneath that perilous chandelier
you’d chosen, plastic and shocking pink.
The light shattered into a thousand sequins.

Down on my hands and knees,
I snuffled you out like a pig.
Mascara stained the carpet
as though someone had tripped
in a pair of dirty stilettos,
charring the sticky fibres
of the rug you blazed upon
night after night,
cheap body sprays pressed
to a sickly splutter
to cover your late cigarettes.
Ashes still stuck in a musty fur
at the bottom of every handbag.

It’s like one minute you were gone
and then out of nowhere
there you were again,
an oversized child
screaming out of the sock drawer,
the washbasket, howling
at the top of your lungs
from the fug of a dead slipper.
A fake eyelash clings to my finger
and says to me, look, look–
and I see you
clambering out of the boxes,
little girl with a weird shape,
clawing the lollipop moon.


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