You should have bought me a book of poetry.
You could have inscribed it, scrawled signature,
a pet name, an inside joke to remind me of you.
Remind me of an acoustic guitar plucked slow and staccato,
mingled with a baritone voice and words of revolution,
the fumble of fingers.
Remind me of a motel room off the highway,
the road roaring in the backdrop, the air crisp through cracked window
as I sucked breath through your lips.
You should have wrapped it in shiny paper before placing it in envelope,
addressed my name on orange folds with your unknown,
but I imagine, careless script.
A token to remind me of songs about trains, long and slow,
my head on your chest listening to the horses of your heart.
Coffee at midnight and hunger pains at dawn.
The drip of your sweat falling from your face to mine,
the cramp in the arch of my foot. It could have arrived a week late
but still in time to souvenir my shelf, a keepsake to outlast you and me.
You could have said your favorite poem reminds you of me,
it would become my favorite too and I could recite it
in my head long after I forget the sound of your voice.
If you told me of one that you found beautiful,
then when you called me beautiful I might believe you.
I’d know you have the ability to recognize beauty.
The beauty of rose gardens guarded by chain linked fence
and two rows of razor wire. The beauty of a white no trespassing sign
and the way your eyes twinkled as they sought a way around barrier.
I was disappointed when my mailbox remained empty.
When the gift you were rumored to give, never arrived.
I wouldn’t even know your handwriting if I saw it.
I crave the tangible, weight of hard cover, furl of pages, underlined passages.
I would like to see it on my shelf, fulfilling a promise never given,
providing a reminder of our time, a memento of something precious once longed for,
but never actualized.
Katrina Kaye is a writer and educator seeking an audience for her ever-growing surplus of poetic meanderings. She hoards her previous published writings, links to publications, and additional information on her website: Iron & Sulfur. She is grateful to anyone who reads her work and in awe of those willing to share it.