There’s the drip like a waterfall
And the sigh of her breathing
And the light of my screen
And this loss.
The loss I can’t name,
But it’s something like dawn when I try,
Like flowing honey and morning and sky.
The loss is like sunlight,
Its rays the embrace of a friend,
Like the chain of an afghan
On a cool summer night:
Breeze metered by yarn, metered by breeze.
And it creeps through my heart by degrees,
Like ivy is climbing and spreading, and
Soon it’s all you can see.
One night I was violently ill.
She brought me clean sheets,
Laid cold wash cloths on my feverish face;
It’s all I can think of here in this place.
I’m sitting awake,
Waiting her needs,
But she’s sleeping softly,
Retreating from me.
I retrace the steps of my childhood
Among the dripping and—
I don’t hear her breathing—
There it is, so soft, and a snore.
I retrace the steps of my childhood,
Trying to find
A place or a time when she was not there,
But her presence cannot be extracted.
Like the ivy that encasing the walls,
Becomes the thing holding them up,
Metering my memories with naps peaking glimpses of daytime tv,
Chocolate chip cookies and overnight stays;
Watching the drip and the lights,
Of her name and the day.