September 9, 2013

Nightshirt. {Poem} ~ Adam Byrn Tritt

For the first few weeks,

once I would return to the bed,

I’d lie on my side

arm on your pillow

your nightshirt tucked

under my cheek,

One of the few pieces of your clothing

I kept. The body is a just a shell

You said. But your lab coat,

the suit you wore to your graduation,

your nightshirt.

The one you wore to hospice.

The one you were comforted in,

the one, the last one.

Your favorite,

cornflower blue

Bamboo fiber,

soft and light,


the scent of you

still smooth upon the it,

the smell of your skin-

the gentleness of

the small of your back,

the familiar comfort

between your breasts

where I would rest my cheek,

the collar that still

carried the nape of your neck.

Each breath, a calmative

against the cruelty

of the sudden solitary sleep,

the life a brain that was built around

your existence




And, sometimes, I would sleep

and sometimes not,

but over the days,

the scent diminished,


like your ability to walk,

speak, see, remember,

until little was left and

fearing its loss,

as I still fear yours,

I put it in a plastic bag,

removed the air, closed it tight,

put it away in the dark.


A perfume, almost gone,

of days past,

that brings a flush or joy,

a smile, a sigh,

that, for fear of being used up,

isn’t used at all.


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Assistant Editor: Leace Hughes/Ed: Sara Crolick

{photo: courtesy of Photodropper}

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