Thursday, January 26, 2012

When the white wants more words

If I could still hold your hand in
my eye, I’d turn it over there
and I’d pull it into mine, my hand
and my eye, and I’d use it, no them,
your hand and mine, our two
pointing fingers pointing out like
two small sticks parting from the same
broken branch. We could scratch-
write together our word, one word,
maybe two words, before the fickle white,
and your hand, and mine slip away
again, a foot, a yard and then
a mile falling between and on
us to break that branch’s end.
Our word, or our words, might stay
behind to look out on two new children,
a boy and a girl, well-bundled in blue
and red cottons, by mothers, against
the cold. They might, this boy and girl,
in one afternoon, assemble, then tear
down an icy fort, a fort made of more white.
It, our word, or them, our words, might
stay and pretend other words are
coming, other words to keep it or them
company when the boy and girl go
back to warm suppers. Words
we could write, or could have
written, of the ways we’d live
and love and share in each other’s
tomorrows, and of the way we’d hold
the suns-to-be, the suns of those
tomorrows, up against one light,
the brightness of this white and the one
or two words we’d left in it. There’s no
sun today, there’s just this white, and it
shines instead before it parts with
our two hands, our two sticks, our one
broken branch. I’ll hold them all in
my eye.

[another poem for Jill]
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