& I no longer speak.
His face is my face reflected
in a voice slipping away.
I remember no numbers.
Time the bottle broke on
the floor in a hundred floating pieces.
You say I should be there.
I do not go. Say winter
is the thin veil of decomposition.
May will be different. Say
it was the white curtain wreck,
echo dissolved in snow,
last message you left, a tendon
holding a lost minute—
We pulled the hard pears down
from the tree & smashed
them with a wooden tennis
racket until pulp stuck
to the strings & sticky green skin
matted our curly hair.
I was a sensualist then, in my youth,
tracing your yellow scabs
with an alacrity akin to obsession.
Tasted slowly again the salt
around the nape of your neck.
What was there in that rural
Ohio August has left—your swift
movements in stained shorts, top
two buttons undone, how you
bit your lip after saying too much.
The pear I bought an hour ago from
the chain supermarket too sweet.
I place it on the table, watch it grow
brown. In this white January my body
starts to betray. A cottage
in the glass looks far away. Tall grass
pokes through the snow.
Shutters silently knock in the wind.