When, on this looped trail,
she scuffles left (trying, always trying) and I run
right, it means running both
away from and back
toward her. Disappearance and return:
A way to practice death; a daily way
to experience resurrection.
Without a shirt, air eddies my ribcage. Without a watch,
no cultured clock time. Just poplars casting their long lines
of shadow, swallows ceding bats the sky. Without shoes,
the damp earth eases up to meet me, my steps quiet enough
the deer only quiver at my sudden scent—one, a fawn so young
its flanks are still licked dark by its mother’s tongue.
beneath our cool blue sheets, when I brought my mouth to her
before her eyes had even opened, she
said, In my dream, you were
inside me. Did you know it ? Were you there, too ?
In these woods, winter is a brown room, and here we are, inside it
together. Above, the sky is stained glass cut by a leading
of brown branches. Between the trunks, a thousand blue doors.
We are in need of no keys. The light is on
the river where gulls rise like ashes
of the sun’s setting
Does she see it, too?
My eyes strain
around each corner, ears hunt
her returning step.
No matter how many times
this running apart
to come back to each other
works, there’s always a moment I’m sure
I’ve lost her. A moment my head goes
But between the birches, there
she is, high-stepping
up a hill, panting a bit, yelling
my name, flushed and happy.
are on the forest’s far side. This day, well
on its way to the next.
Whether it’s hers
or mine, with a shared pace, a shared
direction, let us turn and return
as one, continuing on
together in whatever light
is left to us.