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I turned our pictures face side down And stopped playing the songs you sent me Removed my favorite necklace With your smiling face etched into the locket From its home around my neck Breathed a new scent that I had begun to forget And others seemed to miss

I placed it inside my jewelry box Where it clanked against my gold hoops And amber rings from my godmother A world traveller, the first in so many ways — Long gone

I placed the precious jewel on my middle finger Held my hand out and studied The gem for so long Until my vision blurred With tears

And I placed my shrine to you In the top corner of the ceiling in my bedroom So I could find my hands again Force these knuckles out of their prayer-bent shape Touching them to this lump of clay rotting in the center of my chest And shaping it into The woman I came here to be

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