The glasses are waiting

Chubby in their plastic blankets

Travelers from a distant state 

Where the Rockies wait for first wispy snow

The shiny hard tumblers came from my silver-eyed mother to me

Sent to me on her birthday

From a brown office to a brown man in a brown truck,

Through the pudgy fingers of our bleached white receptionist,

Past her shiny sweater of sparkles and anger

You came to me

She did not know of you

Did not know the crystal memories sleeping in the big box

Just for me

But her fingers signed her name nonetheless

So that I could hold you in my hands

And for this I want to kiss her

And the UPS man too

And the woman in the distant UPS office who started it all

But less so my mother

These glasses are all that’s left of you

Or that’s what I first told myself tonight

Until I reminded myself that I have me too

I always have me

Even without you

After I lift the bubble wrap nuggets

One by one with all my love

Out of the crunchy soft bed of curly green peanuts

Comb through them

Once, twice, five times

Just to be sure I didn’t miss

A single one of them, just in case

You were in there too

I open just one of dozens

The heavy glass is round and solid like a father

Carved deeply are your initials

“RES”

My fingertips touch your face in the

Etched proof that you once lived

Your lips were here once

Your warm hands

Maybe the rim of this one brushed up against the mole on your nose, or

Maybe you were laughing when you held this one

Or maybe one of the other 34 I can’t open yet

Was full of sparkling soda when you explained physics to me

Over chocolate chicken

I’d made badly

My fingers and eyes cry together

Over just one silly glass.

The rest will have to wait until my heart is ready

To see how your favorite glasses are here

Without you

I waited

21 years to get these glasses where

Thanksgiving once lived

Its clinking ice the chilly counterpart to warm turkey

This glass held the holiday where you taught me to

Love champagne and family and me

Where you restored my faith

One slow year after another

That I could be loved

For no good reason at all

For a moment today I believe that

These glasses are

All I have left of you

Until I see my quiet feet standing below me

My gentle friends, holding me up once again

Speaking no things

Merely waiting

No,

I too am proof you were once here.

While I am alone tonight in my grown up apartment

My tears and these glasses are proof that you lived

And you are where now?

I still don’t know the address.

If anyone asked they wouldn’t know about you

Except for the wet tears on my fingers

And this glass

No one tonight would know that you lived at all

But I am proof now

My love and these glasses and

“RES”

Your name is leaden crystal grooves

In my soul

I will never lift you out of where you are carved

Just a step father

You left me, and us,

But you didn’t mean to

Didn’t mean to leave when I was a younger woman than my daughter now

Now she is a mother.

Here’s how things went

Once you weren’t here to stop them:

Time and my brother

Have broken our family.

My mother’s son, now my sister,

With a powerful blow

Wedged a hurt between us all

Children have been born and broken

Since you left

I tell you this so that you understand

Why I miss you more than I miss her

Though she is a quick flight away and bore me with her own body

Still, I can get past the pain only enough to speak to her on special occasions

But you I miss every minute

You whom I hated for all those years

You were there while my own father was not

I didn’t know then that presence alone was love

Or maybe I did

And that is why I hated you for what you gave me so freely

And he would not

Just before I needed you

You were irritating and firm

To a teenage girl

Who required your love

More than air

But cancer loved you more

And took you home

“RES”

let there be heaven

So I can catch you up

On iPhones and Skype

I will bring you one of everything

One of everything you would love

Especially me

But today with one glass open

While the others sleep

I will drink you in

Will pour in brand new ice, different from any ice you ever had

And exactly the same

I will say out loud for you

“Tanqueray gin on the rocks, lemon twist, splash of soda,”

I will hold up your handsome photo

Young pilot who loved dogs and gin

I will drink where you did

On the edge of this rim

I will let my fingers rub your etched glass

Just where you did

You could have one too

I could open another sleeping glass

I would make a drink for you

If you were here

I am big now, I know how to make it

Just right

I would make one for you

Just for you

If only you were here

If only

-Anjani Millet

Copyright August 30, 2012, All Right Reserved

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