Clearly labeled resentment,

I open the jar anyway

–since she and I made it–

and I miss her

the old her

and the

then me

we were together once.


Ignoring the skull & crossbones,

thoughts twist but

the lid of the jar

is stubborn and stuck in place

–like her—

and it take several more thoughts

of her

–none of them good

and all of them bad—

to get that damn jar to give even a little,

and in those few seconds

. . .

in those thoughts

the current she pops out of that jar

–large and in charge and suddenly and

weirdly unexpectedly, too–

like those stupid gag peanut cans

you give as white elephants,

the coils of hurt and thwart

and righteousness

(we both added)

–spring out

dripping with seething,

and stewing in congealed


smack me in the heart

and leave me breathless

–so hard I cap that jar


screwing bits of its coiled contents

into the threaded top in my haste,

and toss it into

the back of my simmering mind,

wishing it wasn’t in my pantry at all.


The next jar is also well-marked,

fancy calligraphic letters against

pastel gradations

spell L-o-v-e,

(and what a spell it was)

and I can’t resist

opening that one, too,

–though the jar is ancient—

since I miss him terribly

–the terribly how he went—

and the us we

were together once.


Disregarding the expiration date

–because some things never die—

I test the top on this one,

and it gives easily

–too easily—

like I did myself once,

and the contents of the jar expands through my fingers

and consume me

adding just the right amount of tears to the inside

to grow

like those gagging foam worms

that expand when

you add water to them

and before I know it,

the composition of ingredients


–like the boiling point of any number of elixirs–

or maybe just the contact with fresh air,

and I am lost in overflowing

pain, remorse

and loss

and it’s all I can do to

even locate the lid to that jar

–blinded by my stupid tears–

before the mess we made

causes third-degree drowning,

and once tightened,

I set it carefully back on

the biggest ledge of my shattered heart,

right in the middle of its emptiness

–and wish I thought to stock up

before that jar had been



The last jar

that makes a difference

is different,

and is unfailingly labeled you,

and like you it’s

dusty and

it’s BIG

and the label is peeling

–but intact—

and it’s been in there as long as I can remember

(which isn’t saying much these days)

and I think of you,

now and again and

from time to endless time,

and the we

we never got to be

and I miss that hunger

I had for you once.


Thoughts spiral

into familiar dreams,

edged with unmixed nightmare,

and the stopper

stops stopping

–a feature?

–a failure?

–a facet?

of this jar I remember to always forget,

and the contents of this jar


(even now)

in their lack of coalescence

–chunks of longing,

desire and reverence,


next to despair,

shame and regret

(nearer the bottom there)

and all of it contained

and fully separated

a nod to its disparity

–and I reach into this jar

for that

which came before,

–to see

if I can sieve

the good remaining




About Charron's Chatter

I bring to you an arrow, whole, Use it, or break it, But if you choose to take it --Know-- With it also, I will go. © Karen Robiscoe @1992

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