"i wasn't sure," you say, your lips
folding over themselves like origami, thinking
of the paper swan or lotus flower they could be.
you're never sure, you're always thinking, always
reaching across the bed but never
asking for anything. i watch you, trying
to identify you, trying
to locate you, trying
to put my hand on your chest but
your ribs are a gate of hot metal.
sometimes i wish i was you, or part of you,
or part of july, or part of an atlas,
or the dusty, fragile pages of a bible. I touch
your mouth, teeth that look so familiar they feel like
mine. I whisper into you, to tell you that you are
just like a tumbleweed, or the hum of
an old car, or a fist, or maybe a hand clutching
onto something. you tell me about your mother
and i tell you about mine, and what side of the
kitchen the sink was on when i was growing up,
and that there was ivy that grew on the side
of the garage.
much later, sleep comes, and we don't do anything
to stop it. in the morning, i'll look at you
and see myself.