The wardrobe’s been building to a cull
for months: the dust inscribed around pairs
of tired shoes, skewed hangers bent,
prodding the fabric darkness.

I let a hand fall through the limp sleeves
of shirts and part the dark like a prayer.
Wire scrapes, catching the fled silence.
It lies curled at the back like a tongue

too tired to speak: this once-worn
first-hand throwback to the 90s when
he sat diligently in his office sipping
coffee, pouring over paperwork.

Did my mother ever tie it for him
the way they do at the end of romantic
comedies, strings swooning, the camera
closing in? I direct my own version now,

the knot having come loose at his
throat—no words needed in the safe
landing of home: a quick fix, a kiss
and they’re away. A happy ending.