Girlhood mornings nested in her old sheets and shams,
a palette of gentle ginghams—lilac, mint, baby girl pink.
A single pillow-made-seat-cushion against me at my desk,
then lost to the shuffle of years, probably living in
someone else’s home. Someone says their sister got sick, died,
and I find myself wanting to say, Me too,
but the qualifications—well, my stepsister—well,
we weren’t close—we only knew each other
for a few years—the things that happened—it had been ages
since we’d seen each other—
like standing before an open and empty closet,
a few wire hangers gently swinging in the nothing.
More honestly, I see her in the gestures
of women who are better at beauty than me—
Amanda and the wine-colored scarves she ties around lamps,
how the room is always perfectly fitted to her,
or any person with layered hair and ironed clothes,
clean nails. Any girl with a streak of mean.
I’ve lived longer than she ever did.
When Kate Spade died, I was driving to Albany
and thought, This is something she’d be sad about.
The first nice bag I ever bought was a kate spade, mint blue,
small and serviceable, the size of two hands together.
PAIGE SULLIVAN is a poet, writer, and communications professional. A graduate of the creative writing programs at Agnes Scott College and Georgia State University, her work has been nominated for Best New Poets and the Pushcart Prize. Poems have recently appeared in The Journal, Harpur Palate, Cherry Tree, and other journals. She lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia.