dirty laundry

i was only ever an ornament

that glimmered against the background

of your already bedecked christmas tree

and though i was not the golden star

which claimed the post of glory at the very top

i comforted myself with the knowledge that

neither was i at the bottom

and that after it served its purpose

that self-same star would be relegated

to the same box of decorations as the rest of us

left in your attic to rot until you needed us again

 

i talked myself into believing

that if you looked closely

my notch on your bedframe

was a shadow deeper than the dozen others

a breath wider than either that bookended mine

and though i was not the current and therefore still significant

i comforted myself with the knowledge that

neither was i the first

with no knowledge of the betrayals that would follow

and neither was i the last

believing still that perhaps your knife had dulled

from the backs into which it had been plunged

and that perhaps your arm had so tired

from plunging it repeatedly thus

that you would not be wont to do so again

 

i was just one in a long list of names

kept crisply in a ledger in your desk drawer

not out of sentiment but rather borne of

a cold desire to keep order amongst your flock

and though my name was shorter than some

with no cause to warrant additional curlicues

or other embellishments that might catch your eye

i took comfort in the knowledge that

it was also longer than some

and therefore received more of your attention

drawing your eye to its sinuous curves

leading into elegant peaks and valleys

ending in a succinct dotted upturn

which spoke of hope that your journey with me

would never come to a spiralling end

as it did with so many others

 

i am little more than a faded memory to you now

unheeding as ever to your needle sharp clarity

in the haphazard collage of my memory

i may not have been your finality

but i comfort myself in the knowledge that

once

for a little while

you must have thought i could have been

to have used me so thoroughly

before affording me the small courtesy

of hanging me to dry instead of letting me drown

in the experience of you


(perhaps you simply forgot to bring the laundry in)

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