Almira

It’s been a long day

And I’ve come home

To empty rooms

With throbbing feet

And the smell of

Last night’s take out –

Chilli garlic and shrimps.

I walk over to the windows

And let the lights

From the streets create

Stars on the inside.

I navigate past

Taped cartons and,

Scattered newspaper

With last month’s news

To reach my mattress

Wrapped in navy

And anchor prints.

I sit down cross-legged,

Letting my ankles rest

On the marble tiles,

Subconsciously chipping off

The chipped maroon on my toes.

There are paintings

And frames from

Ten years ago

Hanging in an

Incomplete pattern

On the walls of lavender.

I let my legs stretch out

Before picking up

A circular key chain with

Thread work and mirrors,

And a pair of keys.

The doors are in ochre,

And I unlock the first

Of two locks

From the pair.

The knob feels colder

Than any other

And I let my palms

Warm it

Before entering.

Or perhaps,

I let my palms

Accustom to the cold

Before entering.

The room smells of

Dust and light,

Unlike chilli garlic and shrimps.

There’s nothing but a

Teak cupboard

Of olden style

Against the walls

Of a patterned garden.

I switch the lights on

To let the warmth

Erase some of the cold.

I use the pair

To unlock the last

Of two locks

And hold on to my breath

As I open the teak doors.

The room is filled

With roses and musk,

And a thousand fragments

Of memories.

I shut my eyes

To let the air embrace me,

Opening them slowly

As I my fingers brush through

Silk, wool, cotton

And everything in between.

The shelves are fests apart

And I climb onto the closest

And make room amongst

Shirts and blazers.

I pick out the grey coat

And wear it backside front,

Leaving against the insides.

Every fragment and,

Every fabric

Smells of you.

It’s been two years

Since I last found myself here

But I still haven’t

Found the heart

To leave the locks unlocked

Or the room empty.

I tug the coat

To trace my lace skirt

In black,

As I feel the musk

Imprinting itself on me.

I shuffle through the pockets

To find a pair of

Solitaire studs

And there’s the rush

Of fragments again.

I’d worn these first

Five years ago

And last two years ago,

Before taking them off

For a while and

You tucked them in your pockets

To keep them safe.

I shuffle some more

And the rose starts to surface,

As the grey coat slides up

To reveal the black lace below

And in one second

All the fragments join.

I climb out

Of the cupboard and

Realise it never had

A mirror.

I hang the grey coat

And shut the teak doors,

Switching off the light

Upon the cold

As I walk out

Of the ochre door

Unlocked.

 

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