the things that we forget

It happened in a moment,
As I was looking for a pen
In the top drawer of my desk.

How long had it been there
Ten years, or maybe less
Since she wore it round her neck?

When I thought it was a rosary
A string of wooden prayer beads
With a pendant at its end.

And though her name escapes me
I remember every pattern
All the freckles on her chest

How she looked over her shoulder
With a question barely whispered,
“Could you please unzip my dress?”

And then she pulled her hair back
So I could free the loose ends
From the knots of her necklace

Next day I found the letter,
By the bed beneath the beads,
The tangled hair and golden clasp

In a word she wrote “remember”
So I buried all those treasures
In the top drawer of my desk

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