An orphanage, the intimacies
of umbrellas, wallets, rings and diaries
unremembered. The secret
insides of someone else’s
pockets. A nursing home,
brass unfingered bones
tarnishing in the dark of neglect,
a graveyard for keys.
This one could mean love
in stolen afternoons, a corporate tryst.
Home or goodbye. Flotsam or jetsam.
These letters. Their wet cursives
long ceased their weeping, surely
the aftermath of an affair, some tearful denial
Incurable nostalgics drop by
when they die or dream on the way down
the corridor to antique shops,
Do lost souls linger like this, in a waiting room
for the second coming, complete
with namelists, rules and padlocks?
How easily we shed of ourselves.
A sports bag. Someone’s childhood.
A piece of mind. A broken heart. A cause.
The theme to Hawaii Five-O. Virginity.
Owner please report to the office. All items
will be disposed off after one month.
The scent of storm at sea. Your mother’s
dumplings. The smell of rice. The way
your wife used to use her fingers. Here
is nothing you’ve misplaced nothing
you’ve lost nothing.
An unwritten sign:
Your keep-sakes are as
inconsequential as ours.