I didn't catch your shirttails as you left.
You didn't take an emblem to remember me by.
You said you knew every brushstroke of my face,
but what happens when I grow old?
I strung little colored lights
all around the trees outside our new house
(which is not a home without you)
in hopes that they would show you where I moved to.
Some days I forget to turn them on,
and I imagine that you pass by,
searching for me.
During the winter, I always shovel a little walkway
leading to the back of the house.
I know you always lost the key to the front door.
It's not like you have the keys to this house,
but I want to be ready for you to come back,
forgetting to shut the screen door as you rush in.
I caress all the letters you wrote--
close to me at least once every day.
I have their insides memorized by now:
Every loop of your pen,
every dot of an i.
You called me lovely in one.
I remember that word like a silver scar.
When anyone else calls me that,
it sounds like black lies
dripping from their mouth,
because their words don't hold the same fondness
that yours always did.
When I left the home
of our old hideaway,
I left notes
between the floorboards.
Maybe I'll come back
and find you had come
to write me back.
Maybe you go every day,
like I do
in my memories.
I never thought you'd be away this long,
and now I'm really regretting
that I didn't catch your shirttails as you left.