When I lost something valuable,
I gave it a name, inscribed it on a pebble,
piece of wood, paper, cloth or shell,
placed it in my handbag, let the words settle
in with the rest of my losses,
defining me – keys to my anxiety,
notebook and pen to record panic attacks –
phone, lipstick, comb, cards calling for attention,
tissues folded in cellophanes of adjustment –
carrying on with my chores as if nothing
was the matter, clutching my grief
like a mascot, trying to transcend
that feeling of things missing, life passing,
shrinking, until change rushes in,
weighing me down with more losses,
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