Separation in an Art Film

What a clatter she made
As she moved about the house,
Wracked. With sharp sounds
She worked her way through the shelves,
Disturbing his books. He stood
Still and watched as they toppled
All over the floor. She began to
To pull out her clothes, snapping hangers,
Tearing and clutching at the stuffed shelves.
The trinkets accumulated over the years,
Most of them his gifts, spilled out awkwardly,
Displaying the ravages of the years.
Then came the knick-knacks--
Perfumes, lipsticks, other women's things.
Still she moved about noisily:
What else was hers and hers alone?
These years had blurred the distinctions.
There was no way to make a clean getaway:
Stuffing everything into a suitcase,
Zipping it up smartly, and then walking out,
Triumphant, as in other movies. Here
Everything was going to be messy and painful.
Every little item, every possession, had its
Own memory, embalmed by their joint
Ownership; now each thing that had
Cemented their relationship had to be violated
Individually. And for years to come they
Would relive, in their own separate ways,
The agony of that day when they broke
Into two.

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  Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape