I’m sniffing all the places I think you might have touched, or maybe brushed up against on your way out of the house. I’ve used up all the obvious spots; the pillows, the sheets, that shirt you swore you’d never wear again, but kept leaving around and I kept washing over and over until somehow it ended up stretched across your chest again. It just smells like laundry now. Either your scent faded or my stink covered it over. It’s hard to say, but it hardly matters really anyway. I’m smelling the spot on the carpet where you’d sit to untie your shoes. You were never shy about getting on the floor. My nostrils are tugging at the tendrils of a towel that you left folded over the rack by the shower, but it smells no more like you than the bedroom curtains, the loveseat, or the lone sock, left thin with wear that you lost somewhere beneath the sheets deep under at the foot of the bed.
Often I think you meant to leave that sock, though rarely can I agree on exactly why. Sometimes I think it’s a gift. Other times it’s an insult. It’s been a challenge, an accident, and a filthy love note. I haven’t washed it yet, but I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because it would never fit me. Never could. You’ve got such small feet. It’s certainly not the smell. It smells like feet and whether or not they’re your feet or not it’s equally unpleasant. I’ll throw it away one day, I think. Or mail it back to you, if it ever seems appropriate. I imagine myself doing just this at exactly the right moment. You unwrap it and smile at the thin strips of candy striped cotton. You lift it and hold it to yourself for a moment in silence, greeting it as an old friend. Then there’s the times that I want to cut the toes off and send them to you one by one, each with a word written in all caps and folded up inside. Words like: Miss, Hope and Need. Please, Don’t, and Why. Fuck, Angst, and Love.