It’s still gnat light over the porch
steps. The creak near the front of the board
you’d stand on and draw in
night had gone out,
had left its voice in the just-spring sounds,
in the not-yet-violent warmings. I almost
see the way you’d turn when I tapped
the glass. I almost hear you call
me to the door. The magnolia’s waxy leaves
send what’s left of the sun back
at me as smudges. The children in the yard
behind ours shriek backwards
from ten. I’m sure someone is hiding.
I’m sure the rags of their voices are
oiling the fear valves of one
particular heart. The dogs know this
and join in. The possum by the garage
pulls back and I want to ask you if you want
to come in. But the steps
are fully in my view and they hold
nothing but my attention.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 1.
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