Like ***** Mixed With *** and Hints of Fresh-Picked ****

While they drain for the week
I lay and read a letter
I wrote myself four years ago
which ends with a claim I made 
for the sake of someone else
--three of them, if I'm honest--
when those rules still applied:

"I forget what she smells like,"
the line lies like rubber.
"Guess that means it's finally over."

Pausing, staring off
into the brick wall of my bedroom
but not cheating with closed eyelids
I breathe deep enough
to suck ten years into my nostrils
picturing the red shirt she kept at my dorm.
I remember the fragrance
but won't share it with you here
nor ever.

"That was close,"
I tell myself
glad, yet again, at only being
half right.

Even a jealous God
leaves a reason to keep trying.

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