You have been here,
lurking around the old corners of the house
that aren't yours to inhabit any longer.
You were trying to remember what you left behind,
separating our bookshelves and taking down your
painting of the matador, and the wall clock.
You are already gone when I get home,
but there is a fervor in the air
that reeks of your electricity.
Did you leave that mason jar of sweet jam
in the fridge for me so that
I might eat it by the spoonful
and so long for you?
What a cruel thing to do to,
in this empty house of your abandon
where there is nothing,
save for this jar,
and the overturned boots
in front of the bed that you
forgot to take away with you.
But I think you left them there as flares,
cloying at me like a phantom limb.
How we need to leave little pieces of ourselves behind, like “Please, remember me, won’t you?”
And had I the nerve to pick them up,
I would burn them.
I would eat the leather like jerky,
stuff the laces into my mouth
like coiled snakes and I would choke and
heave and salivate them down my throat
just so I could say that I was
rid of all of you.
But they might as well be glaciers,
for all my helplessness to move them.
They are there as you once were,
standing inside of them
where they contained you
in a way that I
never could have.
Lauren Singer is a native New Yorker living in Western Massachusetts by way of Chicago. Her poetry has been published in Nerve House, Bareback, Feel the Word, Read This, Kosmosis, One Night Stanzas, and other literary magazines across the country. Lauren is a staff judge for WinningWriters.com, has been a featured guest attendant for a TedX youth conference, and maintains a weekly creative writing group for trauma survivors. In 2015 she received her MSW at the University of Chicago, is a graduate of Bard College at Simon's Rock and an attendee of the New York State Summer Writer's Institute. She has self-published three chapbooks, and received an honorable mention in the 2011 Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest. In addition to her creative interests, Lauren works as a mental health clinician and therapist in Holyoke, MA and is on the board of directors of the Prison Birth Project. Lauren prides herself on her wealth of useless knowledge, namely of nineties R&B lyrics, and she can pretty much quote "The X-Files".