I don’t remember taking it with me
the day I finally left you,
but I found your wedding ring
in a bowl of broken bits on my shelf.
It was wound up in a rat king’s tail
of old tangled gold chains,
stud earrings like droppings.
I wonder if you noticed it was gone
or if it ceased to matter to you
because what it symbolized was over.
Holding the ring on my palm,
I still remember the feeling
of sliding it over the knuckle meat
that by now must have fallen away
from your pale, pale bones.
The coordinates of our ruins
are no longer a mystery
and any hope for a happy ending
was dissolved long ago
by the lye of reality.
Still, even knowing our story,
I’d do it all over again.
And that is how I know
when I ask myself
whether what we had was real,
that there was more than enough love
to forge the bands for our fingers
and still plenty left over
to create a web of gold
with the thread
that was spun
from the intent of our vows.