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Gifts the Mole Gave Me

by Wendy Pratt

In Search of the Perfect Purse

 

I want that purse you gave me

back when we were courting.

Even though I know it’s downstairs

in the junk drawer, its broken-zipped

mouth gaping, still holding

the train tickets and Metro pass

from Paris, I want to own it again.

 

I want to find in it that picture you took

as we pulled out of the station, in which

my face is doughy with youth

and I have not yet learned

how to tame my hair. I want your hand

 

as we run up the stairs to our hotel room

in the attic, Klimt’s The Kiss

over our bed like a blessing. I want

to put Paris back in my purse, that purse

I loved with its grown-up browns

and stitched gold and clasps and pockets.

 

I want to open that purse and find

the cardboard ticket from the Louvre

and the Pompidou and the receipt

from Le Refuge des Fondues where we

got drunk on red wine served

in baby’s bottles and forgot to save

our wits for art. I want that purse.

 

No other purse compares.

This one has only room for my debit card,

the pale-faced photo that the clinic took

of you, the Post-it note you left me

on the Mars Bar that said in shaky capitals

‘I LOVE YOU’.

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