What do you do with gifts from ex lovers

Smruthi Krishnan
2 min readMay 21, 2021

I have a drawer full of

Letters and gifts

From people whom I once loved

And lost.

Chits and tickets

I saved from years ago,

Things untouched

Letters unread

Since the day they left

Since the day I left.

Some nights I sit amongst them

And the spaces between the words

They once wrote

For me,

With love.

I won’t lie,

I did burn some of them.

To cease the pain

But I tucked away the rest

To feel the long-lost love,

all over again.

There’s something about bygones;

They eulogize love,

And turn it into poetry.

Singing songs sung by tone-deaf idiots in love.

There’s something about bygones;

They remain etched within us-

Finding spaces to breathe

Between the broken pieces,

stuck together loosely

with cheap glue.

We all hold on to love

if not the lovers.

The boy I love

Wears a locket around his neck,

Which pulls a string within his heart

Each time I tug on it to pull him close.

Papa has a book hidden

Amongst his box of things from 1985.

It’s not that Ma doesn’t know

But she never says anything.

Never has and probably never will.

Some nights I play my uke,

Pulling loose strings from the past

Of days I barely remember

And struggle to reminisce.

Yet still hold on

To the bits and the pieces.

Yet still hold on

To the memories and the objects.

What does one do

With the gifts from ex lovers?

Do you burn them away ?

To let go of people who stole your smile

And ran far away into nothingness?

Do you flush them down the memory lane ?

To escape the memories that left a human sized hole

In your universe, your heart?

Do you cling on to them ?

As souvenirs from happier times

Do you use them as a subtle reminder?

Of moments that once made you smile

Of moments that made your heart skip a beat for a while?

What does one do

With gifts from ex lovers?

I guess no one knows the answer yet.

We let people go

But hold on to mere objects-

They leave behind.

Except somehow these aren’t just mere objects.

It’s like a piece of their heart

Entangled to a piece of ours.

And we keep these pieces safe within us

And hold on to them

For the sake of love-

That once made us feel alive.

We hold on to them

For the sake of hope-

That someone will come by

And make us feel alive again.

Until they leave

Adding to the catalog of souvenirs

That forever remain.



Smruthi Krishnan

Economics Major. Aspiring Journalist. I write poems, sometimes.