Nestled in a velvet box lies a smooth gold
key my love once fastened around my neck, chosen
to remind me of her passion, devotion.
She owned the lock. Before me, I behold
the charm dangling, bearing its engraving bold:
BREATHE. My thumb rubs over each letter, unbroken.
Last September, my unlocked heart let slapped skin,
brazen insults, slammed doors prevail. My lungs fold
as I study my box with photos - preserved moments
that seduced me to stay: picnics, flowers,
holding hands that’d later stifle breath. Fragments
of a former heartbeat won’t surrender
my soul. Her lock, states away, exists
severed from my key - my unchained power.
Makaila Aarin works as an academic librarian in Mississippi where she lives with her three rescue dogs. She holds degrees in English, library science, and education. Currently, she is pursuing an MFA in creative writing. Her poetry has appeared in Prismatica Magazine, Stone of Madness, Glitch Words, Tipping the Scales, Poetically Magazine, and other magazines. Her work is forthcoming in Dwelling Literary and Sinister Wisdom. Find her on Twitter: @makaila_aarin