Tuesday, December 20


You push out of bed like a backstroke,
surfacing into the morning light,
leaving me behind. There must be
a word for that shift, instinctive
in that moment right before you pull away:

I press closer, rub my face into
your shoulder-skin, asleep to the realities
of all our deleterious nights,
breath serene as if I might never wake,
arms tight around you. You break

my hold, push a pillow into my arms
as if it could replace you. I remember
the days I could swim back down into sleep
after you left, listening to the bell
sounding dour in all those grey mornings.

We cannot go back into the wide space
between night and white dawn. We can travel
only in the direction of endings, and never again
savor the taste of beginning. I am weightless
in my dream-sea under heavy blankets

and even when you are here,
I can see you are already gone.