once she loved him fierce and true
but she’d long swept the dust
of that dead emotion from her heart.
it was little more than an expiring echo
on its weakened last repeat,
a mere meek susurration of a kiss;
the odd brightness when the TV goes off,
a grey afterglow on the flatscreen;
or the vestigial images the insides
of your eyelids remember,
an attenuated trace of old devotion.
ashes that cannot be rekindled,
they lie on her tongue and she thinks
of a letter returned to sender, unopened,
a symbolic wafer, dry as parchment,
a sacrificial mouthful for a long lost love.