Leftovers: Day Thirteen of a Poem a Day

“Utilizing items that begin with the same letter, write a poem that describes an emotion without explicitly naming the emotion.”


Aluminum cans,
cigarette butts’ embers glowing,
cups of Coke-a-Cola gone flat,
and empty chairs.
(Your ghost doesn’t live here anymore.)

A toothbrush with stiff bristles,
towels that smell of your shampoo,
piles of trash that reek with chicken carcasses,
toiletries half-filled and some on their sides,
timepieces frozen to 8:23, the time you left me.
(Your ghost stops by to visit but never lingers.)

memories of lovers,
light-switches flipped to “on”,
puddles, like lakes, beside the bathtubs,
and linens stained with mascara tears.
(Your ghost doesn’t have my sense of humor,
your ghost doesn’t laugh at the jokes I tell.)

Buttons that need to be sewn onto jackets,
broken best friend lockets
that hang loosely from silver strands,
bulletin boards with faded photographs & yellowed news clippings,
books that I haven’t read since you left me,
lacy bras with flimsy support, the ones I seduced you
into loving me.

Love, loneliness, leftovers, left behind, and loss.
(The things you left behind aren’t things at all,
but more the bits of me you didn’t take with you.)



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