Monday, December 21, 2009

Paper clip

I twirled the giant metal paper clip
clumsily between my fingers.
I watched it somersault
amidst my flesh
like it was a magic meteor
with dazzling lights
and reflections full of promise.
It was the only object I could use
to keep my eyes off of you
across the table
a stranger that I used to love.
They passed me another packet,
with a smaller paper clip,
and I traced around the smooth edges
with my pen
making a design of half moons
and swirls.
You clear your throat,
drawing me away from my doodling,
and forcing me to make eye contact.
Your stare is blank and cold.
My eyes are hot with tears.
How is it that 12 years with you
is only held together now
by a paper clip?
No love, no laughter, no more family.
And once I sign my name
it will all be gone.
I do as my lawyer instructs
and stare at the cursive curves
of your last name one more time,
as mine.
Then slide the paper clip
into my pocket
so that I will always remember
this day
that we signed our love away.

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