THE EMPTY CLOSET
The suddenly cavernous closet
sprawls in front of me and stops my breath,
as if a street sweeper has barreled through,
and not knowing me from a leaf from a blouse,
has sucked all into its maw, its dark convulsive dark.
A black stain on the door frame
catches my blurred wetting eye
(her coat? her dress? did she have a black dress?)
and I reach to touch it, curious, my head bumping
the now empty hangers, setting them to swinging.
Their echo crumples me.
Half a wall of racks and a long row of
shelves are mine to launch this new life,
and I should weep for the freedom wrought
by their purchase, which I would,
were the price not so colossal and fierce.
“In my beginning is my end,”
wrote a poet more profound than I;
I trust he had it backwards,
and an endless beginning can yet be mine—and hers, too—
beyond hangers swinging eerily after twenty-seven years.
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