Lost Property

Your coat, heavy with your scent
still hangs on a hook in the hall.
Like Cerberus, it guards my door
so that every time I cross the threshold,
There you are. You linger on,
Your presence undiminished after all these months,
Occasionally stopping me in my tracks,
Propelling me back in time
as I stand, frozen, wrapped in your smell.

Sometimes, I consider bundling it into
the washing machine, eradicating any trace of you
but something always stops me.
The reddish stain on the left breast pocket
of the ketchup you spilled when we careered out of the chippy
after our first gig together, drunk on love and beer.
Or the green mark on the right elbow—
A permanent reminder of the picnic we had
where you first told me you loved me.
Not to mention the frayed hole in the zip
caused by a passionate clinch in an alleyway
when home seemed too far to wait.

I’ve thought about giving it back to you.
I know it was your favourite.
Do you miss it? Do you ever think about me?
But I don’t think it’ll suit your new look.
Now, you have someone else to dress you.
What if it follows you over the threshold
and neither of you return?
I think I’ll look after it just a bit longer.
You may want it back some day.

 

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