He piles her boxes in the courtyard under
a tarp, the bookshelves, microwave, spare phone,
and though his friends make clear they wonder
why he would help her move, he says, “It’s fine.
I want to save her money, help her out.”
And he does—helps her move out, feeling weight
tear at his muscles. Now he is without
her things. They are inside the truck, her freight,
then on the freeway, then in her new flat,
then gone. He’s glad to ache in shoulder blades
and arms. It means that though she’s left him flat,
left him behind like old footprints, he’s made
a choice as well, to move her, remove her,
a choice to move past, not be moved by her.
From Sad Jazz: Sonnets (Sheep Meadow Press, 2005) by Tony Barnstone. Copyright © 2005 by Tony Barnstone. Used with the permission of the author.