To open my glove box is to revisit loss:
an avalanche of receipts from Salvation
Army for tax purposes and confirmation
that my material possessions did not move
from an apartment I could no longer afford
to my parents’ house in the suburbs. Loading
the remainder of boxes in my trunk, I wondered
if belongings were starfish arms, regenerating
themselves when I ran errands or left for work.
For the first month, with Jersey City buried
in cardboard boxes, breathing was no longer
involuntary. I was either inhaling to distend
my belly or overeating air. Driving thousands
of miles with incense holders, Long Branch
sea glass, and dachshund-shaped floor lamps
won’t be a logical next step. I love color
and need to know that if I collide with a wall
in the dark, I’ll be assaulted with a variation
of black that, in the light, looks more like
lavender. I’ve saved my money, I’ve collected
my ducks. I’ll be crossing state lines with only
a sedan for transport. I wonder if I can schlepp
the atmosphere. Of course I’d like to keep
the string of lucky elephants by the poetry
and the mini pillow my grandma embroidered.
Of course I know how to meditate. I’ve gone
to the ashram, practiced with gurus in Downtown
Manhattan. Standing in the center of a room
meant for one girl, I find my primary concern
is not for me (I can summarize myself in ten
souvenirs) but for the flotsam. A trinket
without an admirer is no more than junk.
Laryssa Wirstiuk is a poet and writer based in New Jersey, where she lives with her miniature dachshund Charlotte Moo. Her writing has been published in Word Riot, Gargoyle Magazine, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other venues. You can view her portfolio at laryssawirstiuk.com.