I dig for photographs of you once more,
Wishing that you'd simply let me sleep.
Unhealthy? Yes, but if you didn't keep
Disturbing me, I wouldn't have this chore.
I keep them hidden in a dresser drawer,
Once mounted portraits now a wadded heap
Beneath old birthday cards, and other cheap
Reminders of the lives I keep in store.
I know it's strange to keep you buried here
In flimsy images I should have tossed
Along with ashtrays and your makeup case.
But digging deep, and seeing you appear
With crumpled features shows I haven't lost
My touch for smoothing creases in your face.
1997; originally printed in Sparrow.
by permission of the author.