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The Emergency Jar

Three days after you moved out,
I found a jar in the freezer
labeled in black sharpie with
OPEN ONLY IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
and I’m not sure what it contains
or how long it has been there.

The glass is frosted over
and the lid is frozen shut
and it is not an emergency
right now
but I want to take that jar out
and crack it open in the sink
and find out what
you felt was so important
it needed to be buried
in the shivering cold
behind the peas and the popsicles.

Every so often,
when I cannot sleep
and I am thinking of you
I go downstairs to the kitchen
and open the freezer door,
stand with the cold fog billowing out
and I look at the jar you left for me,
wondering what emergency
could be greater than
finding myself without you.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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