Box of Things

The last thing left in my apartment is a box of things, seven things. I’ll have you know, I’m throwing them away. Right now. I’m doing it.

You surfed your way through life on broken glass.

And me — I was a nesting doll with a china heart.

Now, I’m a burning doll with a giant trash bag. I’m doing it.

I’m slicing open the box of earl gray tea bags, and dumping the tea out leaf by leaf. It barely flutters against the black hole of a bag. It’s ok, there’s more stuff left to purge. I hate tea.

Next: lipstick. It’s purple. Powerful. I don’t need power that you bought for me any more. I’m twisting the lipstick until the entire stick of deep purple is showing. Snip. Plonk.

More satisfying than the tea.

Five things left. Can you name them? Do you remember? A fly preserved in amber. I’m smashing it with a hammer. There are no tears, not a single one, I’m doing this right now. As I write this.

The first letter you wrote me. All those pretty words, I’m ripping them to shreds, balling them up, throwing them into the bag from across the room, like a game of basketball. I’m an excellent shot, in case you forgot.

The last letter you wrote me. Same thing.

In the end I am a hollow doll with a shattered core, shards in your bare feet. I want to say that I love the pain you’re in because of those shards, in those feet that you trampled me with, but I’m not. I’m not you. I’m not.

The preserved rose’s ashes are falling into the trash bag now. Yeah, I burned it. The thorns popped as they fell.

There’s only one thing left. Surely you know what it is. This one is the heaviest, and the smallest. And the worst, the most poisonous. I didn’t even put it on my fourth finger before


Thunk — metal against wood. The thick pen hits the desk, ink on the page blurred by blotchy teardrops. I take a sip of earl gray and caress the amber fly on my desk.

“Not today.” I mutter, voice like sand. “Not today.”
I don’t even have any trash bags in the house, and the ring on my fourth finger needs a polish.

“Later.” I promise. “Later.”


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