I think for a moment
you sweep past:
a smoke of rose, a wisp of heat,
a hint of calm, a whisper
without sound but scented
with your lips, your tongue,
your breath, it eddies through
of my everyday.
Inhale your scent,
pretend your scent
is present to be inhaled.
Swallow the lump
rising in my throat.
This is how I get through
the moments between
This morning, the sun on the porch
is just the cool side of warm,
and the little hula girl on the patio table
drinks light and shimmies her toy hips
while the crows bicker about us,
while the cats curl through our legs
and I tell you about yellow ginko leaves
and why they remind me of you.
You aren’t here, not today.
Today, you tell me you are imaginary.
You are a wisp of an image
swaying like the hula girl
in the steam that curls
off my coffee cup,
and vanishes just as quick
but I wish you were.
I imagine the spring light
in your wild hair, the music you make,
the poetry you fill my mouth with,
my fingers and my mouth,
I imagine my mouth
full of yellow ginko, full of your tongue.
If I imagine you
real, would you be real?
Be real, so I can tell you of the poem
I’ve picked out for your hip.
Be real, so I can translate the debate
and bicker of crows to you.
Be real, unbrushed and wild, be real
so when I cease to imagine and start to long,
you are what my fingers can grasp.
A convoy of tiny black ants rolls across
the cover of the book you left on the floor
beside the old porch swing.
For the last hour, I have amused myself by flicking
every fourth ant away from the line of his peers,
just a few inches.
Even that momentary isolation
panics him, and he scrambles, jitter-legged,
to reorient himself into the normal processions
of his tiny black life.
A few inches, a few hundred miles.
It’s a silly thing, the disruption created
from being beside a person and then
not being beside them any longer.