So, after all that time, I found her rings
(or echoes of them, such as they were)
encoded on a sliver of Palmolive
left high and dry in a scallop shell
on the kitchen sill, back of the curtains.
Faint indentations: one flawed half-smile
and a pair of zeros silted up
with pollen from dead moths. Enagement,
wedding and (wry afterthought?)
eternity. Sweet nothings speaking
only for themselves.
Because I relished
spasms of uxurious ill-conscience,
I never wived her. When the question arose
(as often it did) we quenched it
between us, in one way or another.
So I supposed. But now, in fits and starts
of wakeful sleep, I may de-crypt
the muted snap of her nomadic handbag;
heeltaps down the corridor; a neighbour's
rusty lurcher whingeing like a closing gate.