Dogs 2005

THE SHIRT
(9/12/05)


home
from work
and there's the shirt
hanging
from the
doorknob

she had called
a month before
saying
that she still
had the thing
(some eight months after
dumping me
for the second time)
and would drop it by
when
she had the chance

but I remembered
how she was
so didn't really
expect to see
it again

I lifted it
from the doorknob
glad
to have it back

more glad
than I would be
to have her back
in my life

then I noticed
a crackling sound
as I prepared
to place it
on a hangar

the obligatory note
no doubt
so I checked the pocket
and sure enough
a note
and
some photos
of the same past
that I had just
recently
gotten over

the note
simply said that
the pictures were duplicates
and to do with them
what I would
I began to flip
through them
they were from
two separate trips
separated by a breakup
the first a year ago
the second
around last
Christmas

there
they were
the happy couple
in happy places
happy times
with happy
faces
sick
I know
but that's how
they made
me feel
as well

I was happy
at the time
thinking that I had
finally
found the right
woman

my smiles
in the photos
were genuine
they matched my feelings
but I know now
that her smiles
were lies
as were
her words
and her
actions

I was well
past it all
but I was still
vaguely uneasy
to see them again
so much time
had passed
and me
still alone

I emailed
my thanks
for the shirt
and my reserved
acknowledgement
of the pictures
thanking her
for thinking
of me

she wants
to see me
next weekend
apparently
possibly
maybe

or
maybe
not

I do
after all
remember
how
she
is