she moved in last week
I am helping her unpack

one box is marked DISHES
be careful, she says
I open it carefully
I unwrap them carefully

they are china
beautifully painted
with scenes from the old country
(I'm not sure whose)

at the bottom is a large serving dish
a serene village drawn on it
frolicking animals
children playing

contented couples walking down golden streets
and the dish is split in two

another box says SILVERWARE
I shake it
seems a little light, no?
she has one that says FIGURINES
knick-knacks to fill shelves
I see no shelves

the boxes never end.
just one more before I go:
a shoe box marked JUNK
it has washers, paper clips, pencils,
old photos,

love letters unopened
oh, those old things,
she laughs

ah, these old things.

hours have passed
stay, she says
(and it echoes through the unfurnished rooms)
this house is quiet, she says
and I like the quiet, she says
but too much is no good

when I arrived, the sun was at noon
now it is on the horizon
I am sorry, I say,
I have someone waiting

236 words

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