I sit next to the chokecherry tree
fat with little white flowers in past weeks
holding a book without opening it.
I do this so the world won’t smell like you.
It’s all new since you left – rain, cut grass,
little white flowers – that should make it better.
Nothing close like winter wool.
I’ve washed everything, rearranged drawers,
thrown away the socks with holes,
torn up letters you didn’t even write.
I’m going way back, purging from before.
You wouldn’t know the people I’m forgetting.
That’s the reason for the book,
so I can know things I haven’t told you.
All the words like little flowers
leave a scent you wouldn’t recognize
and I’ll have secrets again,
things I’ve felt alone.
I don’t open it.
One stack idles,
bad photos I can’t discard,
people caught between expressions,
unprepared and looking lost.
I feel tender toward their faces,
loose white flowers.
Another evening goes,
closed book resting in my hands.