Rings, I have so many rings.

Rings measure the stages of my life. There are rings from him, rings from her. Rings from them us me it anyone. I don't have a ring for you. But that's all right, I'd remember you without a skinny little silver band stuck around my finger. (Always silver. I don't like gold and no one loves me enough for platinum.)

The ring I gave her is sturdy, thick and interesting with black all over it. Complimenting colors, her favorite colors back then. She gave it away.

The ring I got from him is thinner, but far from fragile. I adopted other jewelry with the same pattern–necklaces, earrings. It was a crescent moon with a five point star set in the curve. I wore it on and off for years and years. I think I've lost it, now. It may be in a box somewhere. Fitting dramatics.

(I got one from a different him once, but it was gold with a garnet stone, and I don't like either.)

They give me rings. Silver rings, gold rings, plain rings, rings set with precious and semiprecious stones. Some I lose, some I put away. Occasionally I'll actually wear one.

She gave me one once, an Irish something or other with interlocking hands and a heart over top. I lost it, or it got stolen. I miss that ring.

And there's a new one I bought for myself. There was a little stand down the boardwalk, next to the ocean. I tried it on with the sound of waves hitting the shore roaring in my ears. It's bendable and it's breakable and it's a delicate little thing with a big shiny spiral in the middle. I don't take it off; it's mine, from me.

It's a strange thing, to look in your jewelry box and be able to measure the years out. This, this is junior high, here, this ring with the little claws holding the gemstone. And that one is from my second year of high school. That one there, in the third row... it stood for love.

Rings, I have so many rings.