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I am spreading out stretching
my reach to occupy new territory.
I am pouring into drawers,
taking over space.
Only small encroachments first--
a shelf of the medicine chest
where the aftershave and razors used to be--
and soon I own the cabinet
and the closet, where my shoes
now toe the mark his shoes made
and my scarves drape over the tie rack
and my clothes slowly creep to his closet from mine,
where barren inches yawn between the lonesome shirts.
In the sudden space of my nearly empty closet
I am stunned and for a moment can’t remember
which of us is gone.

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lost language


figure and ground


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©2004 Ellen Steinbaum

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The cover of my book, Afterwords, was designed by Kate Misail.
The Painting on the cover of Afterwords is by Eric Sealine.
The painting on the cover of Container Gardening is by Faith Hochberg.

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