When the transfer of property was signed
and the possessions came to be divided,
habitual tendrils stiffly disentwined.
I ferried twenty years in cardboard boxes
of faded magazines, abandoned books
and postcards bundled up in perished rubber,
to pore again through liver-spotted sheets
whose names, like insects crushed upon the page,
still stir and almost coalesce to faces.
My desk remains there underneath your papers
but I don't visit that place where I feature
no longer on the register of electors.
Those that we might have been hungrily watch us
crumble and lose the lives they might have had.
See how they stretch to lick our sticky fingers!
© Brian Fewster,
Published in Poetry Monthly 73, April 2002
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