For the Losers of Things

by A. E. Stallings

She is shedding belongings wherever she goes—
Necklaces, combs, virginity, lovers,
Bus-money, phone numbers, gifts and their givers,
In the laundry, perhaps, in the pockets of clothes.

Dropped in the aisle of the east-bound train,
Slipped down the seat of her car-pool ride
(Or her eighteenth year, in the Lenten-tide),
And places more difficult to explain,

Like deep-in-dreams, like half-way-there...
She has left by her unfinished drink at the bar
The keys to her house and the keys to her car,
The ribbon that orders her unruly hair...

He is calling her number; she is not in—
She is shedding her dress, like scales, like love,
A dry, silk hide she has cast off—
She is ranging abroad in her new skin.

“For the Losers of Things” previously appeared in Archaic Smile.

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