In my miserly heart, I keep the small change
of you—penny taste of your skin,
nickel skeins of your hair.
In the graveyard of my longing,
you are ghostly essence: laughter,
silence, a leaf on a tree.
Broken, you are a small repast—
heat on my thigh, ice in the shaker,
salt and lemon, the grill's sear.
I have left the push of your tongue,
your sleeping back, nipple grip,
Left your sputter, your flutter, your fall.
Your grace, your face, your all.
Tonight the Smell of Rain
silent and far from home.
I'm happy, though. Dinner
eaten slowly with the Times'
Arts page, the cat
batting its edge at table.
When the clock chimes nine
I look up and count forward
to your sleeping, a continent
away. Or, if not sleeping,
lying in a foreign dark,
hours till daylight.
Where are you? I'm here
keeping a conversation
until we speak—or if not speech,
then whatever words come
into this awkward reach.
I'm here, Saturday night,
the cars shushing past,
and the rain, gentle
as a heart at rest.