Your mom keeps your door shut.
The stale smoke packs your room
like canned beans stowed away for the end
of the world. Your bed
looks like we climbed out of it late this morning.
I steal one of your last t-shirts, crumpled
like you threw it to the floor only a day ago.
Hurrying to work, I throw it on and search
for a forgotten scrunchie, a hair band I left
before you boarded your plane.
I snap a photo of a photo:
you with the long hair I told your barracks friends you kept
before you had to buzz it, proudly sharing the parts of you
I knew before the you they know now.
I close your door one last time, walk
to the top of the staircase, and
out the front door,
your mom has begun removing
summer’s garden decorations: a simple wind chime, a tin
watering can, a bowling ball covered in shiny
pennies, each carefully placed.
After the winter, they’ll again find homes
along a stone path, jagged yellow flowers,
patches of budding greens.
Allison Bliss is a 26-year-old living in Miami. But not for long. @ms.bearimy