clean

©2005 by Jennifer Honeycutt. May not be reproduced without permission.

i cleaned out my closet the other day.
it’s a small closet, thank goodness.
boxes and bags were stacked to the ceiling,
but somehow it didn’t take as long as i expected.

seems like it should take a good long time
to clean out the contents of a life,
but maybe i’m giving myself too much credit.
maybe my contents are shallower
than i thought.

i found a few diamonds in the rough, though.
amongst the mixed tapes from 1985
and the textbooks from freshman year 1993,
i found old notebooks:
one purple, one 3-ring,
one graffiti-ed in white-out
with “i love so-and-so” all over its blue cover.
i read through the yellowed pages slowly.

has it really been 10 years?
i put down my soul on these brittle pages:
silly, melodramatic poems,
love letters to boyfriends that were never mailed.
i don’t remember feeling the passion
that went into this writing.
i don’t remember writing this writing.

the more i cleaned, the more i read.
and the sadder i became as i realized
that i’m no longer the same person:
the girl who stayed up until 2 am,
writing feverishly with a bic pen
in a dime store notebook;
the girl who filled a binder
with 350 poems,
all typed, indexed, and numbered;

the girl who was able to completely let go
on the page, to be guileless and green
enough to think that the words matter.

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