By J. Prusky

She was a lover
Who liked to leave traces
In kitchens and windows
And especially bedrooms
To remind him of her
When the day was gone.
There was the straw hat
She had worn that Easter
With the single dried rose
And vanilla satin strap
Held with one hand raised
Against wind on the water.
In the bedroom later
Hair shaken out and glorious
She threw it careless
On the cracked window ledge
And with the bend of his arm
He had taken her body
Smelling the wind in her hair
In plain view of the hat.  

Then her own copy of Edna Milay
With antique winding chair on the cover
Notes in the margin
Epilogue missing.
Fingers wrapped around it
Wrists laid cradling.
Waking to find her body absent
He came to see her there
Naked legs outstretched
She looked up at him
Standing in the dim light
And there in the kitchen
The embrace that happens
Between nudes in twilight
Through city and suburb
Windows across America
Backs turned now
To the book left unfinished.  

And finally on his loveseat
That which had clung to her body:
Silver sequined party dress
Worn downtown
When for the first time
She whispered his name
Without closing her eyes,
Bathrobe still wet
From the morning shower
Smelling around the nape
Like shampoo and skin,
And sweetest body camisole
Now pressed to his grieving mouth
Straps falling desperate
Like tears from his hands.
Longing now for the other kind
Of things left behind.
In her absence her garments witness
As the man weeps too.


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