neckplace

Tonight, I raised my hand to my face
to brush away an untamed curl of hair,
and when it slid past my nose, it smelled
suddenly of you. Not your cologne, or
the soap you use, not shampoo or aftershave.
That skinsmell I find tucked into your
neckplace—that late afternoon nap’s shadow
that rises and falls, rises and falls against
my sheets, leaving traces of you in every
pillowcase. I held very still and closed
my eyes, trying to keep whatever particles
of you I managed to steal, until even my
inhale meant losing you. So then I didn’t
breathe at all, just held my hand against my
cheek, and for a moment, felt that it was you.
—  Sarah Kay, No Matter the Wreckage (excerpt from “India Trio”)