shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Jacalyn Shelley


Three Gloves

Yesterday it snowed. Your brown gloves slid
off the shelf, and I remembered you
ice skating. How each leg crossed over the other,

the setting down of each foot, the circles you sketched
on the cranberry bog. But here's this one
black glove. The slack leather bulges where you wore

your Masonic ring. Your handshake, a test –
those who could bear the hard
squeeze and those who could not. After I kissed

your dry forehead, I crumpled into my brother's arms.
We recalled your strange love,
the moments your hand seemed disconnected.

Didn't you run to our cribs to hear us breathe?
The dead are helpless in our hands.
Last week I saw you behind the screen door.