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Remnants (of us)

by Esther Frances 

Posted: 26 March 2006
Word Count: 311
Summary: Order after chaos....

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I’ve cleared away the remnants of us
thrown away the empty bottle
of cheap and sparkling wine
drank and consumed
with easy smiles

I’ve washed out the bathtub
removed all traces of pubic hair
some grey (yours perhaps?)….
and telltale lines
of dirt and grime

I’ve removed the champagne flutes
mine, caked with lipstick
pink, glossy…
And put them in the dishwasher
on the economy cycle

I’ve manoeuvred the soiled sheets
into my reluctant washing machine
watched with curiosity
by the resident au pair
who seems ‘oh la la’ shocked
that I have even the slightest idea
that the washing machine exists

I’ve unpacked my swollen suitcase
placed things in piles
The ‘dirty’ pile was smaller
than I thought it would be
If memory serves me well
it is about the size of guilt
Gently burying my face in its midst
i detect no odour of you

I have stacked away the books
the journal, your memory…
I could only remember
fits and starts
disjointed moments
of solitary confinement
Asleep by your wide back
the largeness of you
against the smallness of me

And as I stepped into the shower
attempting to grasp the slippery soap
suddenly I could smell….
your smell
And just for a moment
I could see that room
that corridor
that bed
You, reading poetry in the bathtub

And as the last molecules of us
swirled down the dizzy drain
of my shower
i realised I had done a sterling job
of clearing away
every scent and sign of us
A little part of me wanted to cry…..

And so now…
as my washing machine spins furiously
i realise
there is one forgotten garment….
Red, not to be washed with the whites
You came just there
on that T shirt
with one wide, white streak
and in my missing you….
THAT made me smile

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Comments by other Members

Account Closed at 22:50 on 28 March 2006  Report this post
This is a list ... A poem that is a list. A methodical mind, analysing, produces lists. There is no prototype for a poet, so analytical minds have as much to say in poetry as the fanciful - in fact I subscribe to the list as a poetry form myself. It lends itself to powerful cumulative description, because the list is usually a raw form of emotional expression. But you polished this list Esther, and led the reader along the path that promised passion and sophistication from the most mundane... loading clothing / sheets into the washing machine. The final part, is almost violent by comparison to the rest, as you refer to the male orgasm, but still couch the energy and release of the act with the domestic consequence. I think this is well perceived and delivered.

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