Tokens

 

I would place before your feet

The entirely of my years of moments’ pleasures,

For one second of a smile.

 

While you dreamt, I would lay before you bottles

Emptied through mirth; all my loose change

From weekend after weekend poorly spent;

 

A collection of oddments, photographs

From seaside places; the north of France;

The postcard of my first true kiss, years past;

 

A world of textbooks I one time read,

And all the serials I spent long nights

Hungrily reading through, to find somebody;

 

My first pair of skinnies, and my first and last

Cigarette packets; the soft and pleasant earth

Where as I child when walking I once fell;

 

My teddy bear, a replacement for you

Before I knew you; toys broken; my Game Boy Colour,

Though I lost it, I would find and place beside you;

 

Locks of my hair, when cut into new styles,

I’d place in envelopes and leave beside your bed.

Sweet wrappers, precious stones, new shoes

 

Turned old from tread and love; whole afternoons,

The weighted sun: the lingering, happy sun,

I’d cup in my hands and present to you, a mere token;

 

A recording of my graduation day; my diary,

Kept in secret nights, for want of you

Even before I knew you; scented candles

 

Left to slumber beside the bath where I

Lost whole days, dreaming; the very footprints

Of walks by the lake two miles from where I lived;

 

I would gather these precious and all once-precious things

And leave them at your bedside while you slept,

If I could catch you, sleeping, with a smile.

 

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