by Madeline Levine
Early morning after
And the night’s been draped in fog
You’re still etched like a ghost on the chair
And this space has the respectful stillness
Of a battleground where the fight was hard
The tangible memory of those freshly fallen—
It was only a matter of time.
I’m numb as the cold ashes that litter the floor
The strange urge tempting me to dust for
Fingerprints, belatedly, of course,
For this case is closed
The facts lying limp in my hands
Nothing left to say.
You’re given to this way of playing at the
Corners of my mind in colors
Sheer and stark—
I find it grating today,
Haunted, as I am, by the shape of a symbiotic
Transfigured now to a plane stretched horizontally across
My mind, pulling tightly, edge to edge—
I tilt my head to see
Your eyes, wide and blue
So open; I’m forced to squint.
And I wish you’d stop saying it,
Stop painting these words so harsh with truths that
I wish I didn’t know.
And I wish you’d stop crying
These feelings are wasted,
Spoiled rotten, overdue—
Please give it a break.
And lose yourself with me
Let’s get on a bus that’s going.
No, just going.
I promise we’ll get there
In a matter of time.