Daniel B. Silver



You packed your clothes and shoes
Your special pillow, makeup and such
Into a bag that I gave you
And into your little clutch

 And with those bags in hand and eyes full of tears
You walked out the door
Protesting that I escort you
Down the street to your car

 You drove away for the last time
And I went back inside
Into my still apartment
Into my room to hide

 And after a sleepless night I woke
To find you still not there
But on the blanket next to me
A length of your hair

 I began to search around my home
And it didn’t take long to find
The things you forgot to take with you
The traces you left behind

 On your towel I can still smell your conditioner
And there’s one of your hair-ties on the floor
The washcloth I just scrubbed you with
It was hanging on the shower door

 On my hard drive a short story you wrote
Your birthday marked on my calendar
Little notes from you in my bedside drawer
And one on the kitchen counter

 Your bag lunch is in the icebox
And the leftovers of our last meal
A sweatshirt of mine is hanging on the coat rack
The one you liked and tried to steal

 On the couch is my olive-drab cap
That you wore the night before
As I unpacked from my trip down south and smiled
As you lay on the couch and snored

 I started to drive myself crazy

In my exhaustive search
Because with every object a trace of you
On everything, a memory perched

 It’s useless to try to hide these things
Because they are everywhere
Not just the smell of you in bed
Not just the lengths of your hair

 There’s gifts you gave me, and movies we watched
There’s photos and poems and books
Your past-used cup is next to the sink
Things are everywhere I look

 Even the computer I write this on
You gave it to me last year
I’ll always cherish that memory
And all the other ones we made here

 I’m sobbing now because I know you won’t return
But none the less it’s true
That though you chose to walk away
You didn’t take it all with you