“Quand je parle : la mort parle en moi.”
— Maurice Blanchot
I should never have brought you up.
Instead rely, as ever, on the weather
to delineate you, our conversation, like
a muslin rain that ribbons down to gather
nouns like birchbark, windowpane,
because to name even a street, even that
whiled-away house, and the small creature
dead in the eaves like some thought
thought better of, not quite forgotten
in the leaf mulch, not forgotten.
I came, once, so close to loving you.
Or I think I did. Close enough, at least,
to make out the shape of love, like any
good drizzle could tell the outline
of a tin roof with its teeth. Like skin
can always tell a tooth from a touch.
From time to time, we almost touch.
Our coffee gulped down quick to keep
quiet, scalding, making me all-too alive,
aware of my mouth and the sentence
buried there, spoken not to say but to
shape something out of silence. I want,
so desperately, to ask you something.
If I could just remember what. After
all this time, I might have forgotten your
name. Maybe it’s for the best. If I do,
you might still make it out of this alive.
Read more from Issue No. 23 or share on Facebook and Twitter.