Daily Archives: December 16, 2021

Pockets

I keep dead friends
in my pockets: so many
people minimized. They
pinch my hands when I reach for
my keys. They tap out regrets
on my thighs when I do not
expect it. I stop in mid-stride
on busy sidewalks
and try to decipher
the messages — dear me,
so many. Names I’d tried
to forget but it’s such a crowd
now, worse in winter when
they surge into all of my coats and some
even hang off my scarves,
swinging free in blizzard wind
when it blew and covering up
when it is still and cold. 
I wish they were still and cold
as well but there they are
among gum wrappers 
saved for the trash,
straddling the Swiss Army knife
as they wait for my hand to appear.
Dead friends, so many, how difficult
to hold them at arms’ length
when they are there all the time 
tugging at me, staying warm
while I stay cold and wishing
they’d stop, leave, go where
they have always belonged
and stay there. Leave
my pockets alone, old chums.
Empty them and go.
All that’s in there now
is your dark mess
and I do not wish
to carry it for you.