Donna Sums Everything Up

And that’s where it ends. The rest are
if not scribbles, exactly, not as compelling
as these poems, I guess you would call them.
I was their only little birdie, as it turned out,
and I hope I was enough, or as close to enough
as any one person can be. The briefcase was
on her bed when I came to clear out her things,
and the key was in a little envelope that said
For Donna. The typewriter was missing—
she gave it to someone else who needed it,
the attendant told me. Nothing more than that.
Sometimes I arrange the papers on the table,
trying to make sense of the web of people,
who said what to whom, all the things
they couldn’t say. Other times, I hold these
pages close, breathe the lingering smoke
from a thousand cigarettes, peer through
the thin paper as if I could see her.

I believe I can.


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