How a piece of us goes missing
A cabinet of puzzle boxes, a jumble of uncountable pieces
one set strewn over the coffee table, poured chaos,
first task to right them all, each piece
laid against others of similar hues, sort, begin
to sense the whole slit into pieces, so I might
order the disarray into understanding.
Each piece, a month, a fragment, making a whole
or a just a hint of image once holding childhood
maybe only a suggestion of a lover under covers,
sorted into colors, sad grey, excited red, vivacious green,
I begin the work of fitting each piece into its space
making sense of complexity broken into pieces.
Stooped over the table, I search for the right shape
to fix pickets on a porch, a sideways piece of white,
remembering the day you stood against white slats
of porch railing, nervous, explaining away your choice
and its fallout, as you pulled your dark brown piece
of you out of the puzzle of my life.
And now your missing piece leaves a barely seen hole,
the porch portion will live unfinished, forcing me
to move on to another place, to take up a new search
for pieces in the mystery of the whole, there is nothing
left to be done, this puzzle will remain unfinished
I scan, not remembering how your piece fit into the whole.
© Sharon Lopez Mooney, “How a piece of us goes mission”, originally published in El Portal Literary Magazine, ed. Audra Bagwell, New Mexico, 2023