Delete everything*, she said. And we thought, perhaps, she meant only the difficult things. The things that would betray us.
But everything also meant that time we dyed one of the chickens blue, accidentally of course, and then blow-dried it through the wire of its pen.
Everything meant that kiss when our teeth clacked together and we tried not to laugh.
Delete the hand-turned hem of your jeans; the long, uneven stitches. Delete the belt loops and the seams, particularly. Leave no trace of where we were joined, or of where we contained each other.
Delete the nest that fell from the tree near the path down to the house. The one with the small, soft feathers lining it. And half a tiny shell, spotted and blue as a piece of sky.
Delete the songs we downloaded, and the playlist we never quite finished compiling. That song we sang together in the car, on the way to the hospital, and again on the way home.
Delete your eyes and teeth and hands. That scar on your belly; that ink-stain on mine. The marks we made on each other’s skin.
Delete yourself, she said.
* with apologies to B, from whose poem (and life) this line is cut and pasted.