You have ruined me, he says to you,
after he tosses your sweater onto the bed,
unfolded. You can see its wrinkles
from where you stand across the room.
I will never love anyone like
I loved you.
And you do not move to kiss him
or etch your nails into his face
or give him what he deserves.
Instead, you go down to the basement
and do laundry, watch your sweater spin around and around
the way these things do.
Then you carry it back in a wicker basket
to tuck into the dresser where
it best fits
and move throughout the rest of your day
lighter somehow. People notice the vague smell of detergent
on your fingers as you pass, as you tidy
and fix what you can
all while wondering if, in your whole long life,
you have cleaned more than
you have dirtied.