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Do you need to save this?
Official receipt of County Clerk of Alameda County
September 2, 1981 fee for filing marriage
Absolutely not.

Or this?
Certificate of Live Birth June 24, 1983
No, he loses it at least once a year.
Then keep it.
What if he dies?
You’ll know he was alive.

Weil-McClain Cast Iron Boiler limited warranty
Fender guitar receipt
I forgot about that guitar.
You don’t remember his lessons up in the attic?
No, I only remember him rummaging late at night.

Joint 2000 tax return, Roper and Lark
Did we make enough?
Enough to go to Paris that year. All of us.

Passport cancelled April 12, 2005
Therapy bills: adjustment disorder with anxious mood
Is that why we divorced?
Maybe. I’m still anxious.

Scarsdale Eye Center June 10, 2007
Or your fear of glaucoma? You haven’t gone blind yet.
No, but I don’t see clearly.

Northwest Mutual Life Insurance policy, 2011
I think I’m the only beneficiary.
Do you wish me dead?
Do you wish I were dead?

So many pounds of paper.
Do you feel lighter?
I do feel lighter.
How light?
Well, not untethered. Not untethered.
But lighter.
Light and tethered.
Tethered to what?
Still wanting to be tethered. Light.


Robin Dellabough (rdellabough@gmail.com) is a poet, editor, and writer with a master’s degree from UC Berkeley School of Journalism. Her poems have appeared in Halfway Down the Stairs, Stoneboat, Fifth Estate, Lines + Stars, Nassau Review, Tiny Spoon, Maryland Poetry Review, Blue Unicorn, Negative Capability, Gargoyle, Westchester Review, Friends Journal, Persimmon Tree, Footworks, and other publications and anthologies. A founding partner at Lark Productions: A Book Company, she has written, edited and contributed to more than sixty books, including The Poets’ Corner. Her current position is Projects Director, Publishers Marketplace/Publishers Lunch, for which she curates samplers of forthcoming books and manages editorial events.

© 2021, Robin Dellabough

One comment on “For Sale: Black Metal File Cabinet, by Robin Dellabough

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