INVENTORY - Jacqueline Doyle

I lose my keys, my pencils, my pens, my books, my notes. My smart phone. Post-its with important reminders. Umbrellas. I lose my glasses so often, I keep old pairs all over the house. Recently I lost my mother. And not long before that my father. I lost my first husband, though he’s still alive, and I know where he is. So many cities. Dublin, Göttingen, New York, Ann Arbor, Providence, Ithaca, though they’re still there, and I can always visit. Houses, apartments I loved. The tiny bedroom in Ithaca, really a closet, barely large enough for a double bed. The secret garden behind the house in Hayward. The rose bushes in Fresno. The window seats and view of the castle in Jühnde. I’ve lost trees in my back yard to storms, and a prodigious jasmine vine to a hidden gopher that feasted on its roots. I’ve lost friends, for many reasons. Some I mourn. Others I’ve forgotten. I lost my way, and sang “Amazing Grace” in AA meetings, astonished to be found. Once I lost my second husband, but discovered him again. “The art of losing,” the poet tells us, “isn’t hard to master.” Don’t worry, she says, losing only feels like disaster.




Jacqueline Doyle lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her nonfiction flash “Hickory, Dickory, Dock” will appear in The Pinch 36.2, the upcoming Fall print issue. Other flash prose is published or forthcoming in Quarter After Eight, [PANK], Monkeybicycle, Sweet: A Literary Confection, Café Irreal, Post Road, and Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence, edited by Robert Alexander (White Pine Press, 2016).