A chance meeting in the hall. You were a five-by-eight:
dense, climate-controlled. I was a bloated ten-by-fifteen,
and fine in a cell outside, with its temperature extremes.
My hoard had more volume. Yours, more weight.
You showed me your trove of googly eyes, lapel pins,
photos you’d taken of dirty tarps on construction sites.
Delighted, proud, I lifted from my own first boxes lights
of all kinds: lamps and strands and sconces, bins
of silk and paper shades. Then, reaching down, I found
a fifth of vodka my last love hid, not unearthed till now.
Next, the star-spangled sequined blouse I’d never allowed
myself to toss, although he hit me in it once: crumpled mound
of sparkle, sweat, and blood. Your smile was faint and kind. Sadly,
you slid out a large box marked in all caps, FUCKING NEGATIVES.
We kept some boxes sealed – others, we were brave enough to give
away. Repacked the rest in more condensed, neat stacks. Gladly
rolled shut the metal doors, clicked the locks in place. Another day
we’ll cull some more: risk what we can let go, and what must stay.