The entire contents of a dead man’s house
threaded onto a tarnished silver chain
kissed two red crescents onto my collarbones
as I slipped on his shoes, half a size too small.
I’m inside the last suit
from his widow’s wardrobe,
a row of cross-threaded buttons
instead of his Christmas tie
and there’s a room in my ear
full of telephone bids
from the auction room’s shadows.
I’m unlocking an attic to a future moon,
his scents reactivated by my exertions
under this other man’s hat,
the residues of his brainstorm
anointing my hair.
Clues left in his pockets
overlooked by drycleaners after the sale
too dark to be shadows
too fragile to be real,
seeds of a truth of sorts sewn back
from his alternative future
as I misspent a youth fingering change
and trying to catch up.
Never wear another man’s hat in the rain
never slide your arms into his sleeves
never exist anywhere but the present
I keep repeating to myself…