For Teta, it's 4 years today...
A house full of absences
like a graveyard on a sunny day,
all mine to dip in
as I please.
A language full of words
and I choose none;
I have never been good at choice.
Let it simmer;
anniversaries age like everything else.
I must admit,
I miss him more than you;
fresh absences are tart.
But you loom larger,
lapel and scarf,
like a wide-grinned moon
over my sleep.
These are the vacancies that never fill.
I wonder if you stroll the hundred yards at night
back to your house
and hover over the bed
to plant a kiss on his forehead.
I wonder if you can taste it still.
I like to think that you stop
by the bakery when it’s closed and dark,
caress the wood boards and feel
the flour under your fingernails.
And that you pass by the shoe store
that no longer carries red slippers
since you stopped coming in.
Selma’s ghost meets you across the street
to sell you pretend groceries
behind rolled-down grilles—
even the dead play charades.
But when she visits you pretend
to sleep under the marble
just to smell her hand above.
And then she cries and reminds you
that it’s all over