She took her things
that lined the shelves, they left
holes in the dust
like buckshot
in a stag’s flank.

These shapes
and their brazen absence
would have killed
me if I were you, and it’s funny
six months ago it was, and yet already
it’s as if it happened to someone else,

like when you hear about an old
school friend t-boned
by a drunk
driver and their brains
now play spaghetti-hoops
on what’s left
of the interior.

I grab a cloth and move to banish
but am stricken
suddenly with thought of being caught
on my knees
wiping away
what for you could be the last
of something sweet –

I have known since the playground
my mind doesn’t idle
the same speed as other engines,
so I put the cloth away
and tiptoe around your flat,
wishing to be nothing
more than a friendly phantom
with sheepish smile
and open ear.