Covered in paint, as always,
I was re-assembling my dressertop after a day of
sweet-fruited labor -
Carefully hanging jewelry on the ends of cigar boxes,
When I discovered the necklace.
It had been invisible to me since the day that it broke,
When I hid it away beneath more pleasant memories.
The necklace you gave me for my first gallery opening.
A dark garnet, surrounded by marcasite,
Gleaming then, but far more beautiful now in it's tarnish.
After you wouldn't take me back two summers ago
I wore that necklace every day
Like a totem - I am romantic - I believe.
I wore it until it broke one night,
In bed with a man who wasn't you -
When I woke up I realized that my life was something different.
I didn't try to fix it.
Or the necklace.
...And so when I found it again, yesterday
And rolled it between my fingers, I said out loud
To the man in the next room,
Who is a romantic,
That it is funny, how old people can tell stories
About simple objects from their past
That are so loaded with meaning, that you don't know how they survived
Under the weight of all of it.
And that every day, as we inhale, exhale, cope, flourish,
We are building those stories for ourselves.
When he came into our bedroom and found me holding the necklace,
He kissed my forehead,
Said, "Fair enough."
When I am old, longgreyhaired, calmed,
When I can stay in one place for more than a year,
When eager, young hands search through my jewelry box,
Asking for stories,
I will tell them of the life I lived before
With the man I didn't marry.