i stare at the slightly darker shape of my fan spinning on my shadowy ceiling,
trying to ignore the loud humming sound
and the heat securing my shirt to my skin with superglue sweat.
after an hour and a half of punching my pillow and tossing in the tangle of sheets, i climb out of bed to my bookshelf,
tripping over schoolbooks and half-finished letters in the dark.
meaning to pick up my favorite book,
my fingers fall to rest on something else,
something small and cool and hard, a sharp edge scratching my finger.
i pick it up and sit back on my quilt,
holding it up to the window and letting the moonlight illuminate the object
cradled in my palm.
solemn painted eyes gaze up at me
in the soft haze of light, as i recognize the little glass dog
with a jagged, broken ear, his knowing face seeming to ask, do you remember?
wait! i shouted, running forward. you can’t take everything!
he looked up in surprise from the box of discarded objects, half-shrugged, and walked away.
i waited for him to leave, then reached out and grasped my favorite,
a china figurine chipped with the strength of past love.
now it fit perfectly inside the grasp of my fingers,
as i sank into a hard chair,
then slipped it inside a pocket.
it remained there as i watched them toss
the rest of my memories out the window, biting into my hip,
the hard shape of it indented in my skin for the rest of the day,
comforting me a little as his tools disappeared
along with old boxes of recipes and trash, treasure mixed in with broken cups
and packed into ugly, musty-smelling u-hauls boxes
before being thrown in the alley behind the house
for garbage trucks or homeless people to pick up as they wished.
i curl up under the sheets again, clutching the only memory i insisted on saving
in a fist under my pillow as i close my eyes
and finally feel my muscles sag like cut strings.