I left my purse in Zell, Germany.
It was basic, black, and hugged my shoulder just right.
I forgot it at a tiny hotel where the grape vine covered hills
flow down to meet the river, and the windows open
to quiet, uneven streets.
I like to think it is tucked under the arm of an old German woman,
matching her sensible, short, black heels and cotton dress as she
navigates through familiar streets.
Maybe it is lying in the bottom of a child’s dress-up box,
waiting to be crammed full of dolls and flung over a tiny arm.
It might have been placed into lost and found, gathering dust
on a dark wooden shelf until it was tossed with the morning trash,
driven to the landfill and compacted with chicken bones, chocolate
wrappers, and coffee grounds into a cube of garbage.
But I like to think that the German woman is tugging open the zipper,
reaching into her new purse for Euros to pay the man at the market,
the purse cradling her arm as she carries her purchases home.
Sarah Grubb is an MFA student at Chatham University. She is the fiction editor for shady side review.
“One summer, my cousin and I spent a week alternating between swimming and playing cards on her front porch. We ended up playing 142 games of Go Fish.”