There is paper and there is ink.
There is the couch, the gentle depression,
the part the cat has scratched.
There is the glass and there is the ice.
There is him
And there is me.
And for awhile there is silence, except
Then there are words that come out
and my brain saying, shut up shut up shut up
but I keep talking and he keeps talking
and then there is pacing,
the long walk down the hall.
The stiches that held it together have come apart.
This is the power of words,
the moment is both the recording and the record needle,
it is the doing and keeping, creating and solidifying
into things we cannot, do not, take back.
We are the palimpsest. We can rewrite this.
He shifts. He opens and closes his book.
He does not want to talk,
but I am tugging loose a thread I should not have touched,
my fingers picking and picking,
because tomorrow I will go to the doctor
and he will listen to my heart
and I will think about dying.
Because that is what we all think about when someone listens to our heart.
Think about the hard ground, the mushroom blossom.
Think about the grainy ash between fingers in another winter
that we won’t know. Think about a universe beginning and then beg it to stop.
I want to ask him each day: Is this what we have been waiting for?
Are we just too scared to admit it?
But I’m not speaking now. He is.
Imagine the whole ocean fitting in your mouth.
Imagine holding it there.
12 hours ago