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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