Splitting Up

The vases and tables, glasses and silverware
weren’t the hard things to give up.
Just that they left holes like the dog
uprooting the backyard geraniums.
It was dividing the memories that cursed us.
The dinners at the patio table,
the porcelain bowl I bought her as a birthday
gift in Washington D.C., sangria in the
late afternoon sun on the Adirondack chairs,
the dark afternoon in bed after our friend’s suicide.
The porch light burning yellow and the glow of windows
covered us like a curtain; the neighbors never guessed.
Now we held each other in the house among
empty spaces and boxes, an autumn evening
closing on us like our own eyes.
I loaded her bike in the moving truck,
a potted rose from an anniversary,
then watched her drive away
like she was taking the dead to their grave.

Jeff Knorr is the author of the three books of poetry, The Third Body (Cherry Grove Collections, 2007), Keeper (Mammoth Books), and Standing up to the Day (Pecan Grove Press). His other works include the co-authored Mooring against the Tide: Writing Poetry and Fiction (Prentice Hall); the anthology, A Writer’s Country (Prentice Hall); and The River Sings: An Introduction to Poetry (Prentice Hall). His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Barrow Street, North American Review, Red Rock Review, The Journal, and Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America (University of Iowa).