Leaves

The light is fading fast,

my bedroom dull and murky,

the only brightness artificial–

the cold glow of the light from my closet,

illuminating

coats and boots and other

material heartaches of winter.

 

I’m losing time to

make a decision;

soon enough

the doors will close,

and I will have lost the chance

to touch where your fingers smudged the edges of the paper, to

trace the broad colored strokes you left behind,

to feel your echoes still.

 

But I’m afraid,

and so

I stall,

the growing darkness creeping quickly into my room as I

fold and refold,

sort and cast off

strange pieces from my past.

As I do my eyes fall on the cookbook you sent me after that summer.

It arrived at my door as the wind picked up and

the leaves curled brown and crunched underfoot, and its familiar pages were

a reminder of warmth when it was most needed.

You were always good that way, but

I’m afraid that

without you,

your reminders will

no longer drive away the cold.

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