Sometimes I want the exact word
for how to say the boy I was
who saw his slight reflection
in a window while he watched the dark
parking lot outside, waiting
for his mother to come home,
or the name
of that silence that isn’t a silence
but the hum of a million things.
I told you once, after a few dates,
when you said, “I’m on my way,”
that I didn’t trust
returns, and when you
showed up anyway, you held my hand,
your nails pressing just enough
into my palm to say you understood.
There must be a word for that.
The summer you left for L.A.,
we practiced a vocabulary
of commitment, but when you said
a month wasn’t that long, I became
the boy again reading the window’s
dark page and every shimmer of headlight
that wasn’t a word at all.
Today, rain starts to fall
while you sit on the porch sipping coffee.
A rabbit slips beneath the fence,
the grass slowly releasing the shape
of its body. The air smells old and new,
Full of earth and water. A word like that,
yes, something that speaks like that.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 2.
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