Tony Barnstone


He’s cleaning out the trunk in which his clothes
are stored for summer, bathing suits, surf shorts,
swimming goggles, neatly folded beach shirts,
all laundered, put in plastic, and then closed
away—and finds a black and silky bra,
some short shorts with a tiny waist, a sleek
black top, all empty of her, as is he,
although she ghosts through him all night and gnaws
his dreams. They were so close he thought he wore
her like a skin, as she wore him till they
wore out. When doubt crawled in, she stored away
her love and latched the trunk and left. It seems
he catches just a whiff of her somewhere
in the blouse. No, it’s clean. Too clean, too clean.

Tony Barnstone
Worn is from Sad Jazz Sonnets (Sheep Meadow Press, 2005).