Today, Tony is Gone

by M’Shai S. Dash

Today Tony is gone
With all he brought

One cloak of mahogany skin
A set of alabaster teeth
and three pairs of sneakers

A half-used box of Baking Soda
A Pyrex Pot

He closed my heavy door
Behind him
I heard it drag slow

Across the carpet
Finding its mark in the doorjamb

With much ado
A door to a grand vault

Tony’s key lay solitary-naked
Shiny on the smooth brown table

I could not/would not look at it

I took the
sheets off the bed

Collected plates from
the living room

Marched them into the kitchen

(Where he used to come up behind me
And Breathe on
My neck.)

I stood
Washing each one
Drying each one gentle as
Mother’s comfort
Running my fingers
across their Scars.