First, it was the used tampons at the bottom of the wastebasket,
The white string coiled around the rust-colored plug,
In the bathroom when you came to stay with me that summer.
I had forgotten that you were a woman.
Then the water jug in the refrigerator leaked
Onto the container of pickled plum paste,
Which you always bought when you came to town,
Like it was part of the bigger ritual.
The water dissolved it, and it dripped down over the racks,
To the bottom of the white box.
When I opened it that morning
I thought something had been slaughtered,
Some feral animal turned irrevocably inside out,
Until there was nothing left but this murder scene:
Wet, and cold.
Red, and redder.
Finally, it was the shirt you were wearing when the
Truck crushed you underneath it.
And the shoulder bag, which carried your belongings.
They were stiff by the time I got to them, congealed.
Brown and ferric, smelling like earth,
Sealed inside a numbered plastic bag.