Love’s Labors Lost

she had moved many times in her life

not unexpectedly

some of her belongings became lost

were left behind inadvertantly

or on purpose

when they caused her pain

didn’t fit her life anymore

couldn’t be squeezed into the overstuffed car

before making her escape


there were boxes ruined in a basement flood

in one house that she lived in

flotsam and jetsam from her previous lives

left waterlogged, moldy, unsalvageable

she didn’t care overmuch about things

they were just things after all

but she lamented the lost photographs,

the lost letters and cards

from old friends, would-be lovers

and those she had passionately embraced

shared parts of her life, her heart, her bed


its wasn’t just the words themselves that she missed

though she longed to read those words again

to have objective proof of what had come before

of who she had been before

from a history gone hazy around the edges

remembered through the unreliable lens

of the here and now

no, she also missed the tangibility

of those missives


she liked the immediacy of electronic communication

but longed to touch those envelopes

those brightly colored cards

those thin slips of paper

yellowed with age

that had been held in another’s hands

that had been sealed by another’s saliva

she missed the distinctive handwriting

that instantly reminded her of the sender

the random rings from coffee cups

placed unthinkingly down on the pages

the smudges from ink-stained fingers

the raised bubbles caused by tear drops

as if those cards and letters

still held the physical essence

of those she had lost




  1. Which is probably why I don’t have them anymore but as the years go by I sometimes feel like the biggest ghost in my life is who I used to be and I have had a recent yen to reconnect with that person through the lens of other people’s eyes, several of them gone permanently.

    Liked by 1 person

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