In the glint of your eyes

I see the reflection of smoke, rising

You study me—hands on hips

Head cocked to one side

I don’t blame you for the uncertainty—

I wouldn’t trust me either

But I’ve come to make amends

To give back to you what I stole

That night I littered the streets with your dignity


I hold out my hands

A small box nestled between two sweaty palms

You look down at it, your face twisted

And I can only imagine the conflict, bleating

I move my hands closer to you

Pushing the box within mere inches of your own hands

You hesitate—shaking fingers begin to reach forward

You grasp it—I move back a step


“What is it?”

“Open it.”

You lift the lid and the box nearly falls from your hands


“It was never mine to keep.”

“But I gave it to you willingly.”

“And look what I did with it.”

You look at the cold flesh lying inside the tissued box

Tears well up—you thrust the box back at me

“Keep it.”

“But you deserve to love again.”

“You’ve mangled it. What good will it do me now?”


I place the box on the table

Give you another glance—you cross your arms

That one motion that tells me it’s time to move on

“Take it with you!”

But you know I won’t

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