after Emily Dickinson’s Fascicle 640
Because of your final, fatal crack,
I’ve put you, golden handle, in the back
of the china cabinet, to which I, only,
hold the key—so no one knows you’re there
except for me, and even I forget from day
to day. But when I recall my lips sipping
from your rim, it takes my breath away.
I have to stop and open wide my eyes
to keep the rising tears inside my lids,
or scurry to the rest room for a while
so I can weep that you’re no longer here.
Never to be replaced with finer ware.
My breath is frost, the porcelain is white.
It rattles in my hands: the loss, the blight.