by Marina Rubin
He was a child of chewed-out pencils.
I was a hunter of dust behind bureaus,
under beds, searching for his journal.
I found it one day without locks or guards
at our parents’ house where we’ve become
special guests on holidays and birthdays.
In a drawer among old magazines and records,
the cloistered soul laid in the hunter’s hand,
with its red vinyl binding faded, scratched,
corners curled, pages creased, falling out.
Among forbidden writings I saw a sketch:
a large table in front of a mirror, a little girl
standing on top in full-height, grimacing,
lopsided bow in her hair, a crooked scribble:
Marina is trying on yet another dress. June 1989.
Today is February 2012, snow falling on the
windshield. Distances in miles, years, lifestyles.
He is now a family man of Caran d’Ache pens.
I am a hunter of words, a collector of dresses.
With each meeting we become older, meager.
I brought the journal back, slipped it in between
magazines, locked away the past in a drawer,
took it out again, stuck a piece of bubble gum
on the last page, as a sign of my victory