there’s a wooden shelf

in your room

on it,

a red accounting book

the major you cast off

last year

when numbers failed you for the first time.

“the alchemist”

the book you preached

and I pretended to love

because it meant

I was part

of an intended future.

an empty bottle of the beer,

you liked to drink in bed

illuminated by the late night lurid glow

and canned laughter

that began to sound like us.

some medals

that have long lost their meaning

but you kept.

it was something we had common:

trouble letting go.

and a polaroid

from the camera I bought for your birthday.

It was the first one taken,


now fading.

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